'I shouted Queenie, Queenie and she caught my eye', boyhood memories of Queen's Stockton visit, 1977

  • Video report by Kris Jepson.

Michael Hall was just 11 years old when he managed to film the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Stockton-on-Tees in July, 1977.

The visit was part of the monarch's Silver Jubilee tour and Michael had been sent by his mother, with the family's cine cam, to film the event.

Now living in Guisborough, he remembered the moment he captured her image, and said: "At that point I was shouting 'Queenie, Queenie, Queenie', because I didn’t know her name.

"I was shouting 'Queenie, Queenie' really loud and then she sort of looked and sort of caught my eye through the camera and I went 'yes' and I remember jumping going 'I’ve got the shot'."

Queen's visit to Stockton, 1977. Credit: Michael Hall

Michael was moved by the death of the Queen and remembered he had cine film of event, so searched his house for it and showed it to his son.

He said: "I was buzzing away and the crowd was getting big and the police were up and down and it was getting really exciting and there was loads of flag waving.

"I managed to get my hand through the barrier with the camera and lift it up, so that’s why there’s no barrier shots in.

"I lifted it up and got it to my eye level, because you had to get the camera through the eye level and I managed to get the angle really right and I captured the Queen."

He also remembered a close encounter with the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. He added: "Prince Philip was walking along and tapping people and saying 'hello' and I was filming him, actually looking up at him and he actually tapped me on the head

"I had to stop filming and I said 'ooh, I didn’t realise I’d been tapped on the head by Prince Philip' and then I got him going past me as well."

Prince Philip caught on cine film, Stockton, 1977. Credit: Michael Hall

There were "funny" moments, he recollected, during that visit, involving the police horses and the plaque unveiled by the Queen.

He said: "The police horses trotted on by and I actually got them on film and the next thing you knew, they started pooing right where the Queen was going to walk past, so everybody was laughing and clapping and then they got this guy who came along with a flat cap on and a wood bine in his mouth.

"Well, everybody was screaming and clapping him, and low and behold the Queen walked right past there, so I’m glad that he’d done it."

He added, with reference to the Queen's sense of humour: "The curtain stuck and I remember them trying to get it right three or four times and they couldn’t get it right, so if you look closely at the actual cine film, the Queen actually pulls it half open, because it’s already opened and she started laughing."

Man in flat cap clears the way for the Queen in Stockton Credit: Michael Hall

To complete his filming, Michael remembered running towards Victoria Bridge and captured the moment the Royal convoy left the town.

Michael Hall still has his cine cam he used to film the Queen's visit in 1977 Credit: ITV News

He said: "I wanted the last shot of them going away from Stockton, so I ran, got the position, set the camera in my hand and managed, without shaking, and got the angle of them just going past me with the car, which is brilliant.

"I love that shot. And I thought right, I want to finish with the Union Jack the right way up, because all the flags I’ve seen were upside down and that was the correct way round."

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