Film: 8690

Places + Locations | 1960 | Sound | Colour


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A film illustrating the different kind of group trips that are possible by train. It includes good footage of schoolchildren in uniform, Women's Institute types and cyclists on train journeys, and of their visits to Southampton Docks, Boulogne, and the lochs of Scotland.

We look down upon the concourse of Waterloo station. A man in a dark blue suit, handkerchief in jacket pocket, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, makes some notes, as he stands in front of a train: he is the Commercial Representative (CR) who organises days out for group parties. A moustached teacher, in grey jacket and yellow tie, carrying a hat, leads a party of schoolboys in uniform towards us along a platform beside a train; a British Railways member of staff stands on the left. The CR looks up and smiles. The teacher and the CR, side-on to us, shake hands and talk in front of the train; the teacher leads his party to the right.

A notice on a window of the train says 'British Railways: Reserved for Copland School Party'; the camera swings to the right to show a young woman in skirt and jacket on the platform talking to someone through an open door to the train; further to the right, three of the schoolboys stand around a very 1950s open-air 'Tea Bar', at which a woman in a white outfit, with her back to us, serves. The three schoolboys hold cartons of drink with straws and eat rolls; the boy on the left is shorter, with parted hair and spectacles, the other two older and fairer; the camera moves right to show the engine and the track beyond; two other schoolboys can be seen chatting to two staff aboard the engine. A closer shot of the latter.

A group of teenage girls, followed by older women, step aboard, while the CR stands by the door with another man. We peer over some trolleys stacked with sacks towards another school party arriving on the platform, the Waterloo sign visible above. A low shot, looking between two bicycles at an approaching engine; the bicycles, and legs in shorts belonging to their owners, move to the right. Three cyclists in shorts step into a carriage in which other bikes are hanging from hooks. Two boys, then an older man, hang up their bikes by the front wheel. A close-up of a wheel being rested on a hook. A man completes this task. He and some younger cyclists walk out of the carriage, having left their bikes there.

An elderly man with a cine camera stands in front of a large red sign for Bradford: Forster Square, around which stand several other amateur photographers with cameras; the camera moves left to show a man in a grey jacket in the foreground kneeling down with a camera, and on the left the object of his attention, an old green railway engine. We look towards the kneeling man, hair neatly parted, from the other side. A montage of shots of men and women looking into cameras. People step onto the train, some waving down the platform. A man holding some papers stands on the left, while a balding man, holding a camera, pipe in mouth, speaks to him; another group is behind them. A close-up of an entry form for a photographic competition and an information sheet for the BR 'Amateur Photographers' Excursion to Goathland and Whitby (Town), Sunday 13th, September 1959'.

Female hands take out leaflets for day tours to Hereford and the Wye Valley, and for Callander and the Trossachs. The Newcastle station sign above a waiting train, before the camera moves down to show a party of Women's Institute types walking along the platform towards us. The camera moves left over some of the smartly dressed, middle-aged women, in coats and cardigans of pastel colours; the commentator remarks: 'the old man can get his own dinner for once; well, as a matter of fact, we left it in the oven for him'; the camera rests on a CR talking to one of them and showing them the door to their carriage, where a waiter stands by.

A male caterer, wearing a white coat over his shirt and tie, wipes a glass. A man in a cap, spectacles and overalls polishes the wide end window of an 'observation car'; the camera moves out to show two other men polishing the side windows along the platform. A vacuum cleaner passes over a blue, patterned carpet; the camera moves up to show a number of armchairs in the car, and another cleaner in a cap polishing a window from inside. Shutters swing back to reveal a woman in a white outfit in front of a well-stocked bar. Another caterer in white walks away from us with a vase of flowers, which she places on a table by one of the seats. Water sprays from a tap into a large teapot; the camera moves up to show a man in white stacking dishes of sandwiches and fruit on a rack; 'I say, this is going to put inches on the waistline', remarks the commentator. A closer shot of the dishes of sandwiches and fruit with price labels attached.

Hands lace a reel of film onto a projector, before the camera moves right to show a cinema coach, with three rows of seats leading away from us towards a screen. The camera moves over a cartoon, 'TV Show Train'. A cameraman and a programme presenter prepare themselves for filming. The bespectacled cameraman sets up his camera. The presenter, moustached, and dressed in a tweed jacket and tie, adjusts his microphone; the camera moves left to show a white upright piano and, beyond that, a black-and-white television set showing the presenter, and the cameraman looking back at us. The cameraman reaches up and adjusts a television set on the wall.

A Caledonian railway company crest on the side of a blue/turquoise old steam train (built in 1886). Two railway staff, both in leather caps, one aboard the engine and the other standing below, talk; we follow the man standing by the tracks over to a yellow engine (built in 1894, we hear). The plate on the side says 'Highland 103 Railway'. Staff can be seen at work on both engines, as one of the men puts two lamps at the front of the Caledonian. A montage of details of the engines and of steam coming from their funnels. The two staff look out of the side of the Highland engine, as it moves to the left. We watch the Caledonian also move across the picture, then away from us. Two shots of modern trains.

A woman moves towards us through a train carriage, then passes a sandwich to a woman in her group sitting on the right. Three schoolboys talk and point at a book resting on the knees of one boy. A finger points at diagrams of different ships. Two of the schoolboys talk. A young woman in the group on the right chats, then looks up, laughing. She passes her camera across to one of the schoolboys who is leaning across their seats. We look down upon her fitting a film into her camera. The short, bespectacled boy seen earlier shows his camera to a young woman, possibly a teenage girl. We look down the carriage, filled mostly with uniformed schoolboys, one in the foreground reading a copy of the Dandy. Three of the schoolboys stand looking out of the window, laughing. Several of the female group are standing up, one brushing her hair, looking towards us. We look down upon four of the schoolboys opening their packed lunches. Two of them, in particular. One gobbles his sandwich.

A large plate of battered fillets of fish is placed on a white table cloth, then replaced by a large dish of roast chicken. A plate of pie, potatoes and sprouts is seen on a laid table in the buffet car; what looks like a cheese sauce is spooned onto the plate. We look down upon a waiter serving a table of four smartly dressed, middle-aged women, two still wearing their hats. We look along a carriage filled with the women on a day trip from Newcastle, as the CR moves towards us, talking to them. A closer view of two of the women, before the CR suddenly appears from the right to speak to them. He appears from the left of the picture to speak to a balding vicar in a dog-collar and grey suit. A series of close shots of women's faces, as they chat and listen.

A cycling magazine and an ordnance survey map of East Anglia. We look along a carriage filled mostly with male cyclists. Fingers point to a map, before the camera moves up to a blonde woman in a turquoise sweater and the man whom we saw earlier leaving his bicycle in the bike carriage. A close-up of the two men opposite them, the one on the left with moustache and spectacles. A number of close-ups of grey-haired, male cyclists.

We look out of a carriage window towards the front of the train, a number of heads leaning out, as the train passes two red telephone boxes and approaches Southampton Docks, cranes visible in the distance. The inside of the carriage where both the schoolboys and the female group begin to stand up and prepare to leave. The train approaches us, then passes beyond the right of the picture. A good shot of a worker in cap and braces, sitting in the foreground smoking, as a trail of schoolchildren passes across in the background, while a row of cranes stretches into the distance beyond. Another party of schoolchildren walk along the quayside; the camera moves left to show a ship in the docks. We look along the row of children at the quayside. The children seen from behind, with an adult man behind them, looking towards the ship. A side-on view of the children. A dramatic view from the depths of the dock looking up towards the children lined along the quayside, with steps visible on the right of the picture. Three of the schoolboys in their green blazers touch the huge blades of a propeller. A fuller view of the whole group looking on at the propeller. A guide speaks to the group. We look over the heads of another group of schoolchildren, with an adult beside them, as they look towards a towering ship, the Queen Elizabeth. A group of children speak to three men leaning on the side of a working boat. A closer shot looking down at the men joking with the children. The two schoolgirls and one schoolboy nod back. The workers again.

Schoolchildren file away from us up some wooden stairs to a ship; a man polishes one of the ship's windows on the right. We look down upon the children from the height of the ship. Schoolboys and girls in green blazers climb the steps, before the camera moves to the top where they are met by the captain and other uniformed staff. Two of the schoolgirls look around and make notes. A row of children kneel on the bench around the edge of the ship, as the camera moves up to show the receding dockside. The ship, the Balmoral. It moves across, in front of some cranes, while gulls wheel about. A rather debonair man with a thick moustache and baggy, checked cap gives a commentary into a microphone that he holds. We look over the heads of those on board towards another ship. A schoolboy puts a telescope to one eye. The camera moves slowly along the huge white liner that they are passing, called Pretoria Castle. Passengers look across the picture, several holding up cameras. Another view towards the liner with its red funnel. Passengers with their backs to us, looking towards the end of the liner. A view along the length of the liner.

A slightly smaller liner. The three schoolboys seen from the start of the film look out, two holding binoculars. We look over their shoulders at the liner. Two shots of schoolchildren pointing, talking and laughing. A distant view looking down upon them, before the camera swings right to show another long, white liner. Schoolchildren face us, laughing, as an adult man, wearing spectacles, walks across grinning. A young, bespectacled boy, with a row of schoolgirls behind him, looks out over the edge. A submarine. A schoolboy looks out, pointing, beside other schoolchildren. Gulls wheel about in front of a distant view of white liners. We look down upon the front of the ship, as it passes a small red boat, Calshot Spit. Schoolboys wave, before the camera swings right to show a man waving from the boat, as it moves into the distance.

Hands attempt to pull out heather. A group of women in billowing dresses and men in tweeds attempt to collect heather on Scottish moors. A woman in a hat and colourful, checked dress clasps a bunch of heather, as she struggles to pick some more; two parked coaches can be seen behind. We see a long steamboat moored in Loch Katrin (Trossachs), before the camera moves left to show an elderly man in tweeds and a bow tie, beside a group of elderly and middle-aged women, all leaning on a stone wall overlooking the loch. We follow the group across in front of the glistening loch. Other members of the largely female outing are followed across, together with the CR. Some of the women and the CR look out. Their view towards the steamer. The CR chats to a blonde woman at the front of the group. A view over the loch towards the distant landscape.

A compact 1950s bus moves along a country road. We look out of the windows of the moving bus, towards a group of sheep, followed by a farmer and two dogs, coming towards the front of the bus, with several vehicles behind them. A stocky woman, wearing a red and white floral dress and violet hat, looks behind her on the bus. We look down the interior of the vehicle, filled mostly with women. The driver turns the steering wheel.

A sign on a stone wall: 'Promenade Interdite aux Cyclistes'. A main road in Boulogne, France, cyclists and cars passing both ways. A group of schoolchildren look out over the quayside, before the camera moves right to show several modern buildings and a number of schoolchildren milling about. A teacher stands by a group, pointing up to a yellow directions sign. A ginger-haired boy looks up and about. A French sign for a pedestrian crossing. A shop sign for a 'Pharmacie' and 'Homeopathie'. A 'Lavoir Automatique Boulonnais' van. A group of three schoolboys cross a busy street, a man in a beret also crossing. They approach a white-capped gendarme. The gendarme looks puzzled, then laughs and points them in the right direction, saluting them.

Standing on the left, the boys watch a balding man, with thick spectacles, and a pink scarf knotted around his neck, offer them some perfume at a market stall. Two of the boys lift their hands to their noses and sniff, then nod. An elderly Frenchman in a beret, pipe in mouth, with a stick resting on his left shoulder, speaks to them. A view of him from the back, small, colourful balloons suspended from his stick, some of which he sells to the boys. More schoolboys walk towards us, to the right of some market stalls, as the man with balloons hanging down his back walks towards them. Postcards outside a souvenir shop. Dolls and necklaces in the window. The hands of some teenage girls handle French banknotes. The old gateway and wall to the city. A willowy, blonde male teacher accompanies a group of schoolboys to a wall, where they look across to an old tower.

The amateur photographer seen earlier crouches down. We look from a flower bed to a sign for Goathland. A close shot of a man looking through a camera. Two men on the left take photographs on some sort of common. The amateur photographers walk left towards a sign pointing to the station. Some of them pass through the entrance to the small station. Schoolchildren walk across in front of a crane and a large ship at Southampton; tracks and a buffer are silhouetted in the foreground. The women's party in the lochs pass behind a large bed of geraniums, in front of a hairdressers and Stirling Station. A sign for Norwich Thorpe station. The red doors to the bicycle carriage slide open. Cyclists in shorts lift their bikes inside. Some male cyclists step off the carriage. The camera moves down to the muscular legs of one of a group of cyclists, a middle-aged man in a checked shirt and shorts.

Women's feet and dresses come down some steps. The women's party come down the steps to the station platform, before the camera moves right to a 'Reserved' sticker on the window of the dining car. Several of the women are followed across in front of the carriage windows, from a waiter inside smiles at them. A number of high-heeled shoes walk towards us along a carpet. Two women in floral dresses sit back, looking exhausted. Feet in tights are lifted out of and rested on top of shoes. The train full of schoolboys passes across the picture; the camera looks up at the windows from which boys wave. We look down at the passing dining car, from which the women, seated at tables laid for dinner, wave out, before the camera watches the steam train pass away from us out of the station.

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