Decades of royal celebrations captured through the lens of North East film makers

Report by Helen Ford

A documentary from the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives has captured the landmark events of the Queen's reign through the decades.

For residents of the Woodhouse Close estate in Bishop Auckland, the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 was a chance to come together and let their hair down.

From the rows of trestle tables, to bunting and cakes, it was a scene repeated in communities across the country that summer.

What made Woodhouse Close different was that its celebration was captured in fascinating detail by a young film maker from the estate called Chris Anderson.

Returning to the area forty five years later, Chris described the scene on the day of the Jubilee party.

He said: "We basically went from street to street to street in a camper van spending fifteen minutes at each place, to try to cover it all.

"The whole place was a hive of joy and activity everywhere you looked and virtually every street had a party of some sort."

Chris Anderson, right, returned to the scene of his film on the Woodhouse Close estate to talk to ITV News Tyne Tees' Helen Ford, left. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The Woodhouse Close celebration is one of many events brought together in a film to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

It has been compiled from reels of material in the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives, and shows the way our communities have responded to key events of her reign.

It is called "Seen to be Believed" - a title based on a remark made by the Queen herself when she said "I have to be seen to be believed".

The film captures the mood on the Woodhouse Close estate in the summer of 1977. Credit: North East Film Archive

The 55 minute documentary includes material from both professional and amateur film makers, and includes images from the Queen's Coronation day, her visits to the region as well as the Silver Jubilee.

Also making an appearance is Muhammad Ali, whose trip to Tyneside in 1977 coincided with a Jubilee visit from Her Majesty.

Shortly after touching down in the region, Ali was asked about her by a reporter, and responded: "The Queen is the greatest woman I would say, right now."

"Even greater than you?" he was asked, and replied: "Oh yes, I can never match the Queen of England."

All the films included in the documentary were made in the North East and Yorkshire.

The film is available, for a fee, through the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives for community groups to screen during the summer.

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