Chris Kelly talks to Pathe staff about the history of the newsreels.
Titles read: 'CLAPPERBOARD - Your Host - CHRIS KELLY'.
Black and white sequence showing Big Ben striking midnight and New Year's Eve crowds cheering and singing 'Auld Lang Syne'. Footage of Queen Victoria in coach; cut to cavalry troops riding over dusty, hilly countryside.
Pathe News titles. C/U of a large pottery cockerel. Harry - is interviewed by Chris Kelly in the Pathe offices. He talks of a rumour of a cockerel flying onto the Pathe building in 1910, then being adopted by the company, but says the cockerel is the emblem of France and Charles Pathe adopted it as his trademark. He talks of the content of the early newsreels. Archive clips of Lord Lonsdale presenting a costermonger's cart to an old coster, and National Federation of Women Workers marching in Camden Town. They talk of the static camera in the early days. Footage of the Derby where Emily Davison throws herself under one of the horses (Note: Emily Davison is commonly misspelt Emily Davidson). Footage from First World War; Harry mentions cameraman Frank Basil. 1920s sporting events: tennis (Suzanne Lenglen?), the first Cup Final at Wembley in 1923. with cameraman filming in disguise with camera hidden in a large hammer (West Ham supporter!). Harry estimates Pathe has 50 million feet of film, then shows Chris how the card index system works. In the vaults we see cans of film, a reel of film being laced up on a Steenbeck. Zoom into Steenbeck screen showing footage of the Hindenburg airship disaster; fade into actual footage.
Title 'HMS Barham 1914 - 1941'. Newsreel item about sunken warship exploding. Chris talks to John Turner about this disaster. They then talk about the cameraman being attached to the Royal Family and covering Royal Tours and the Coronation. Section of colour footage from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (crowning and procession).
Funny black and white sequence of a lady trying to launch a new plane with a bottle that refuses to break! It is eventually smashed by a man standing beneath the plane, holding a hammer (looks like American, Second World War). Cut back to Chris with Harry at the Pathe offices. They talk about the coming of television and the competition to the newsreels. They talk of the speed of filming, editing and printing Churchill's funeral. Cut to colour clip of the funeral procession moving through London.
Silent footage, street scenes, traffic, street entertainers, Blackpool Tower and sea front, people on a boat trip and at the seaside, on swingboats and other rides at fairground.