• Short Summary

    David Shepherd exhibition, Biggin Hill closes, cement mermaids & RAF leave centre at Penang.

  • Description

    Title: "Astra Gazette".

    Intertitle: "Shepherd Paintings".

    Various shots of exhibition of painting in London by artist David Shepherd, includes several CUs of artist himself. Various shots war hero Commander Woodward (Spitfire pilot with 213 Squadron Desert Air Force) looking at paintings by Shepherd of WW2 RAF planes. This section is same as story in Colour Pictorial issue CP 048 from 28/11/1955. For further details see record for film id 37.15.

    Intertitle: "Famous Fighter Station Closes".

    Closure of RAF Biggin Hill, Kent. Royal Air Force officers inspecting airmen on airfield. Civilian and RAF spectators watch. VS airmen presenting squadron standard for last time, vicar Reverend Simons (sp?) blesses it. CU airman, pan to RAF ensign. CU vicar wearing medals. MS wartime planes: a Spitfire and a Hurricane. Officer gives speech to airmen. Various shots of march past by airmen, Air Chief Marshal Thomas Pike. Ceremony takes place in heavy rain salute, press photographers take pictures. MS modern aeroplanes on runway. MS gates with "RAF" on closing.

    Intertitle reads: "Cement Mermaids".

    Dockett Eddy Point, Weybridge, Surrey. Various shots of life-sized models of mermaids and sexy women made by Bernard Jepson to decorate his garden by the River Thames. This section is same as story in CP 033 from 15/08/1955. For further details please see record for film id 33.09.

    Intertitle reads: "RAF Leave Centre".

    RAF rest centre at "Elyssian" (sp.?) at Penang, Malaya (Malaysia). Various shots of two WAAFs (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) in back of van being driven to rest centre. The WAAFs get out of van and meet woman in doorway of hotel / rest centre. Various shots of two RAF airmen and the WAAFs walking into countryside. Various shots of the WAAFs and airmen on beach with white sand and palm trees, some of airmen take canoe out to sea, one of the airmen smashes open coconut and gives it to the WAAFs to drink.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:50:12:00 / 01:59:50:00
    Astra Gazette Number 4 (DOCS)

Comments (2)

  1. doreencamp-coffee says

    In March 1957 I was one of the two airwomen featured in this film "RAF Leave Centre - Penang". This is only a clip (the beginning of a full length film) that your Pathe Pictorial film crew engaged in filming my friend Margaret (the blonde female!) in different locations on this very beautiful island in Malaysia. We were serving members of the WRAF on leave from our base at RAF Changi, Singapore. We were told that the film would be used for 'recruiting material' enticing young ladies of that day to join the WRAF, and would be shown at Cinemas in the UK. The ginger haired member of the film Crew only knew him as "Sandy" said that when we were repatriated to the UK after our tour of duty we would be able to make contact with Head Office in London and have the opportunity of seeing this film. I married and lived in Lincolnshire and have never had the pleasure of viewing this said film! I am now 81 yrs of age and would like my grandchildren to see it! Is it still in your Archives?

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  2. doreencamp-coffee says

    I am grateful to you for reading this and would like to buy the film - in it's entirety - not just this small clip, which is just the very beginning of what I know was a full length film. Among the places we visited and were featured in the film was going up Penang Hill on the funicular railway, the views from which were stunning. We visited the "Waterfall Botanical Gardens" and also the famous Temples, one of which was "The Snake Temple" - it was fun and I've never forgotten the experience. I know the film was shown at our RAF Astra Cinema at Changi as a lot of folk told us they had seen us 'on the big screen' but alas neither Margaret or I saw the film. I am still in touch with Margaret after all of these years, and we made a return nostalgic trip to celebrate our 60th birthdays in 1995. My grandchildren I'm sure never believe that I was once a 21 year old with a slim waist prancing around on the beach and running into tropical waters! I do hope you can help my search? Thanks!

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