Film: 5517

Entertainment + Leisure | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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Isle of Man holiday travelogue from 1964. Varied summer attractions: TT Races; cycling race; Highland Games; celebrity football match with Bernard Bresslaw; Viking Invasion re-enactment; historical pageant; pop talent competition with Jimmy Savile and David Jacobs.

'The Treasures and Pleasures of The Isle Of Man, the Island Gem in The Irish Sea'. The growing plants, saplings and hedgerows of Spring - heralding the summer holiday season attracting half million tourists. Men's pre-season hockey (international events) outdoors across several pitches. An Indian team plays.
Plane touches down with first holidaymakers. Ferry (Manx Maid) comes into Douglas port, with new car ferries operating. Ramps in place for black sedan cars with roof racks to drive off, individuals with bundles of luggage and sacks, Minis, bubble-car. Fast-growing, famous car rally - large banner says 'Start'. Official (and mayor in chains?) checks off car rally driver competitors as each drives up to and off raised wooden platform. Driver's view of rugged narrow roadway. Successive cars speed through puddles and steer round tough corners.
Official in white flags down to start. Crowd of spectators on Douglas Promenade. Thrilling car handling competition on gravel surface. Green Mini manoeuvres round flags, skids, steers, stops and reverses quite close to onlookers. Car finally brakes.
Line of scooter rally competitors as each is checked off by officials from platform, with spectators lining the road. First of three events using famous 37 mile Isle of Man TT course. Map of course circuit. Accent is on reliability over 12 hour period rather than speed. Scooter on the road, passes Keppel (corner) sign. 'Isle Of Man Rally Check Point' sign. Douglas signpost. Road sign arrows guide scooter. 'Time Check' sign. Rider finally halts.
Outdoor bikers gathering, crowds, machines polished. Obstacle race, scooters speeding over bumps and manoeuvring along zigzags ('riding the plank'). Novelty race involving pillion rider placing egg on driver's head, holding it with plate and using mallet with free hand. Egg breaks on one competitor's head. Laughing spectators.
Great Final Rally in Billaramena(?) Gardens. Many spectators in deckchairs as prize winning riders line up. Female prize-winner with blue sash (Scooter Rally 1964) holds cup aloft. Celebrating male prize winner in helmet with cup kisses female rider in helmet.
Manx International Cycling Festival, only race with continental competitors. Banners and flagpoles. Clock tower says half past ten. A hundred cyclists pedal off for 113 mile road race (three laps of TT course) past onlookers including policeman. 50mph swoop down Grey Hill (residential area), five hours ahead of them, into rural grassland beyond the bay. Long uphill mountain road, from sea-level at Ramsey up 1600 feet. At feeding stations, riders refreshed with wet flannels as they continue pedalling. Deep blue sea visible behind. The road finally levels out. Grandstand of spectators and photographers. Clear winner is flagged, followed by next five cyclists. Winner draped with royal blue sash, poses with others.
Deserted grandstands. Empty, open roads, no traffic… But only momentarily. TT Race motorcycle riders surrounded by officials. An official holds up sign '1 Minute'. Close-ups of few individual riders' faces. First two riders off. Subsequent pairings. Two riders speed round early bend. Other roadside racers. Tense crowds. Six circuits to come, 226 miles. Some tight rural corners. Spectators - among tens of thousands - assemble on banks.
10:20 Overlooking sunny Douglas Promenade. Open-top horse drawn tram with driver, full of holidaymakers and bunting. Sunbathing holidaymakers on mostly crowded beach. Theatre names and show banners - Crescent, The Big Show, Freddie And The Dreamers, Susan Maughan,Gaiety, Happy Holiday Show, Kenny Ball, Modern Dance Festival, Dickie Valentine, Hylda Baker, Stella Hartley's £50 Talent Spot, Group Nights, Manfred Mann, The Crickets, Rolling Stones, Ken Dodd.
Handball on the sand, beach ball in the water, snoozing in deckchairs. Crazy Golf sign, putters, young girls on trampolines. Signpost of several different leisure attractions. Go-kart racetrack, with cars in different bright colours. Cheerful holidaymakers on pedal-boats, putters, happy children descending a slide, children on swings. Next to palm trees, the bowling green. Poster of 'Grand Highland Games' at Onchan Stadium (Wed 22 July) - procession of costumed Scottish pipers (audience applause), kilted man tossing the caber, another throwing the hammer. Scotsman playing bagpipes. Scottish dancing - four Scotsmen in full traditional dress. Stadium of keen spectators - football match (Stoke City vs Manchester City during closed season). Stoke make attempt on goal but head over. As captain of Showbiz Eleven team, tall comic actor Bernard Bresslaw, poses jokingly in claret shirt, foot on ball. Poses with far shorter island policeman in helmet. Dickie in Valentine, in black suit, kicks off. Match action - Freddie (Freddie And The Dreamers) gets tackled, Bresslaw falls down and larks around, crowd applause. Crowds applause in deckchairs (Villa Marina Gardens). Smiling Bathing Beauty contestant in swimsuit poses and twirls. Three men in black suits score in deckchairs. Show bulls in Agricultural Show with rosettes. Shire horse, with toddler holding tether. Show jumpers. Agricultural machinery, combine harvester (with child), miniature blue tractor and cart driven by boy, big red tractor. Hairy red bull.
Douglas Promenade beach again. Young girl in low water with ice cream.
Away from the busy promenade, the 'other' island: fields of honeysuckle, water inlets, green meadows, moorland hills. Family ambling through idyllic leafy glen by waterside, children skipping across rocks over flowing stream in the sunshine. Amid vast fields, the electric railway steadily winds to the island's highest peak at the northern tip. Scenic views of the distant landscape and sea. "The candy-stripe lighthouse stands sentinel over a royal carpet of purple and gold where heather and gorse mingle" - close-ups of heather and gorse. White car passes through, following the roadway past a pretty white thatched cottage, and downhill past green hedgerows. Scarlet wild fuchsia. Beneath steep cliffs, cyclists speed down the winding road. Overhead shot of cyclists juxtaposes them with imposing seascape. Winding coastline road next to deep blue ocean. Signpost 'Ramsey via Snaefell'.
Overhead shot Ramsey, with moor land park, scenic lake of sailing boats and exotic greenery. Medieval castle (Castletown in the south). Glimpse of Port St Mary. Along beach, mothers and children holding hands and running along the water's edge. Adults too run into the sea together. Three women see sign for Manx Village Folk Museum (ancient village of Craignish), wandering in and out of thatched cottages, then spotting geese by the roadside.
Port Sudbury ("the new in the east") - outdoor rocky pool of children, carefree bronzed women served drinks on waterfront café. Ruin of Peel castle, quick glimpse of Peel. Beach by old fortress. Two women in bathing costumes playing beach ball. Four or five authentic Viking boats in the sea. Hordes of people run in from the water as if fleeing (re-enactment of invasion of a thousand years ago, staged every July). Hooded 'monks' near foreground. Scores of plundering costumed 'Vikings' charge in from their boats. Fierce pitched 'battle' enacted on damp beach. Fencing set ablaze in sunset. One or two marauding Vikings 'carry off' a woman each. Bonfires on beaches. Triumphant Viking, with sword aloft.
Focus on tiny village of St Johns - annual July 5th Manx Open Air Parliamentary Assembly pageant. All in full ceremonial regalia, including island Governor and chief officers. Procession to symbolic 'mound' of unity under conical canopy. Statesmen proclaim 'laws' in both English and ancient Manx. Crowds of onlookers.
Moorland, mountains, meadows, water, sunset over the bay - fade out.
Douglas by night. Bright lights, waterfront illuminations. At Palace Theatre, compere disc jockey or DJ Jimmy Savile (manic in mod outfit) and various live pop groups (look like local bands ) and folk music acts - Modern Music Festival talent contest. Large score cards, youngsters dancing and clapping. David Jacobs ("king of disc jockeys") in dinner suit announces results. Winner bounds onto stage. Hysterical crowd.
Ivy Benson conducts her All-Girl Orchestra for week-long Old Time Dance Festival at packed Palace Ballroom. Twirling ballroom dancers and watchful judges. Winning couples receive trophies from judge. Enthusiastic crowd applause. External neon signs, casino sign, cabaret billboard.
August carnival procession - marching majorettes, carnival queen float shaped like gondola. Woman 'press ganged' by two men from crowd to join float. Other floats styled as cars, trains and windmills.
Official starts motorcycle race - not the TT Races but the Grand Prix Race in September along the TT circuit. Many spectators. Photographers in the grandstand enclosure with the winners.
The film's (crossed-eyed) cameraman is asked on-screen to 'summarise' key attractions. He feigns reluctance - speeded up images follow... Horse drawn trams - golf putters - bathing beauty being kissed - children on swings - go-kart racers - people rowing boat - car rally drivers - scooter riders - Scottish dancers - Highland Games - sheepdog trials - show jumpers - more bathing beauties…
Departing holidaymakers with suitcases get on planes. A ferry sets sail across the glistening sea.

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