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
Sam Looks Back
Kings and queens of speed compete in motor rallies and trials across the North East in 1955.
From the collection of:
In 1955 roving commentator ‘Sam’ reports on the competitors in a veteran and vintage car rally from Whitley Bay to Newcastle and the first ever Catterick Garrison Hill Climb, featuring racer Angela Brown in an Aston Martin (James Bond’s stylish car of choice). Adventurous (and muddy) motorcyclists tackle bleak, beautiful Burnhope Moor for Weardale’s Arthur Emerson Memorial Trial and stir up clouds of dust at the popular national Belmont Park scramble event in Durham.
This film was one of many commissions for St Andrews Motors (SAM) of Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, produced by a former 30s dance band musician, George Cummin, with colleagues of one of the oldest cine clubs in Britain, Newcastle Amateur Cinematographers Association. A regular rally driver until her marriage to fearless English racer George Abecassis, Angela Brown was the daughter of Aston Martin owner, David Brown. Also competing in three vintage cars at Catterick in 1955 was Middlesbrough-born millionaire Keith Schellenberg, a former Yorkshire rugby captain, winter Olympics competitor and larger than life character who later became the controversial "Laird" of the Scottish island of Eigg.