This film is part of Free


The times they are a-changin’ in this Cleveland odyssey.

Amateur film 1966 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


There’s a streak of wistful nostalgia in this cine club homage to Cleveland, which conducts a personal tour of old and new town, country and coast, in a 60s era of contrasts and change in architecture and leisure time. There’s an air of dereliction in the doomed Cannon Street district of Middlesbrough and the docks, but supermarkets are thriving in Thornaby’s new traffic-free town centre. Beer, bookies and bingo are the pastimes of choice on the older high street.

Sometimes fogeyish (and shaky) in its tramp around a region that would shortly (in 1968) become the new county borough of Teesside, the architectural and industrial heritage is captured in static shots, later favoured by film essayist Patrick Keiller. But the narrator is no Robinson, despite poetic quotes from Welsh poet and former hobo W.H. Davies. At the Cargo Fleet steel works, the filmmaker reprieves the ‘factory gate’ shot so pivotal in early cinema’s creation of modernity. The slower pace of life is summoned in shots of fisher folk in Staithes, hay baling and the Cleveland Country Show, a contrast with the commercial seaside fun of Redcar, where the camera lingers on young women in Mini skirts.