The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Ace of Clubs
A celebration of the club that refuses to die a new ICI Synthonia Club building rises from the rubble of a World War Two bomb.
Cinemagazine 1957 8 mins
From the collection of:
A bomb hit the Synthonia Club in the early hours of the 7th July 1943 the theatre was in ruins. But as the Club Manager recalls in a rich Northern brogue, the bar luckily survived. This stirring film celebrates the 35 year history of a recreational club, known to ICI workers as the Ace of Clubs. A punchy collage of sports, including the Synners Football Club in action, introduces the resilient Billingham spirit as a new club building rises from the rubble of World War Two.
The short documentaries made by Billingham Film Unit reflect the rich communal sporting and recreational culture encouraged at ICI, centred on the Synthonia Club. The English striker and football manager Brian Clough worked as a junior clerk at ICI Casebournes cement works and joined the Billingham Synners FC, playing in the amateur Northern League during 1953. It has been said jokily that the international running track was handily located so that errant apprentices could run off a few pints of Camerons after a visit to the Synthonia. In 1961 a Times correspondent described the club as the largest public house in Britain.
Cinema Advertising Comes of Age
Advert 1943 2 mins
Use Rinso and help defeat Hitler! The soap brand deploys some savvy wartime advertising.
Advert 1940 2 mins
The key word in the book of fashion is simplicity
Advert 1941 4 mins
A curious blue lake, a wonder tablet, a river boat and a picnic essential - sounds like the beginning of a story!
Advert 1946 2 mins Silent
Look out, germs at work! These loveable molar mischief making puppets really dig tooth decay.
Advert 1949 2 mins
An ageing bobby learns about the Co-op divvy in this gorgeous puppet animation narrated by Stanley Holloway.
Advert 1942 6 mins
"Gee, old age!" Malicious Father Time doesn't stand a chance against a cartoon cupid armed with a big box of washing powder.
Promotional 1970 16 mins Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Tuning into the biggest consumer market for television advertising in Britain with Trident TV.
Amateur film 1979 4 mins Location: Billingham
A river trip explores the industrial heartlands of Teesside in the 70s.
Amateur film 1966 5 mins Location: Billingham
A mysterious brew bubbles in the labs of an industrial complex on Teesside.
London Line Colour Series 2 - No. 71 - Burns Night London Line Colour Series 2 - No. 71 - Burns Night
Cinemagazine 1969 13 mins Silent Location: Billingham
Billingham's community 'Forum' leads the way in a colourful Burns night special promoting Britain overseas.
Documentary 1970 20 mins Location: Middlesbrough
A Jaguar driving reporter on a road to nowhere discovers that planning in 70s Teesside arouses strong emotions from locals and politicians alike.
Cinemagazine 1946 10 mins Location: Billingham
A cheery report on the successful Synthonia Club rugby team, ICI blood donors, and an irritable bus queue in Billingham.
Comedy 1906 6 mins Silent
Chaos reigns as the removal men do their worst…
Science Fiction 1906 3 mins Silent
The lengths that some people will go to, just to avoid a speeding ticket… in this case to Saturn and back.
Aberdeen University Quarter Centenary Celebrations Aberdeen University Quarter Centenary Celebrations
Non-Fiction 1906 32 mins Silent Location: Aberdeen
Edward VII and Queen Alexandra open new buildings at Marischal College, Aberdeen
The Medium Exposed? Or, A Modern Spiritualistic Seance The Medium Exposed? Or, A Modern Spiritualistic Seance
Comedy 1906 7 mins Silent
Faking the ability to contact the dead proves to be a big mistake for one Edwardian charlatan.
Comedy 1902 1 mins Silent
Grandma sews a patch on her grandson’s trousers
1903 1 mins Silent
Four-year-old girl and boy dance a mean cakewalk
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