This film is part of Free

Friendship Club Outing; Joel Intract Memorial Home of Rest for Aged Jews, Sunderland; Jesmond Dene

Cat eye sunglasses and best frocks are on display at a gloriously casual picnic with the Newcastle Friendship Club on the banks of the River Tyne.

Amateur film 1955 9 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


On a summers day in the 1950s Jewish men and women of Newcastles Friendship Club bask in sunshine at a picnic on the banks of the Tyne at Ryton Willows in this engaging home movie of a pleasure trip downriver on the Mid-Tyne Ferries. Some very shaky footage also records the official opening in 1946 of the Joel Intract Memorial Home of Rest for Aged Jews in Sunderland. And theres an encounter with The Bird Man, a well-known character in Newcastles beautiful Jesmond Dene.

The Jewish Friendship Club Movement began in 1950, its aim to provide elderly Jewish men and women with social and recreational centres. The Mid-Tyne Ferries ran between Low Walker and Hebburn from 1939, jointly owned by three big shipyards and an engineering firm until 1968 when ownership passed to Swan Hunter. Passengers reduced as the shipbuilding industry declined. The service was still operating when Michael Caine waited at its Wallsend landing in director Mike Hodges 1971 cult British crime thriller Get Carter, but the last ferry ran in July 1986.