Bristol Celebrations 1977
The Silver Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1952-1977.


Reviewed by John Lang - June 2006

The film starts by showing the then current activities in the City Docks and city Streets.


Then follows a Grand Carnival Procession accompanied by heavy showers.


Decorations in residential streets introduced scenes from some of the 300 parties held in those streets, thankfully in fine weather.


The big event, again in fine weather was the arrival of the Queen, to be greeted by the cheering thousands in the Centre and the Lord Mayor who introduced Her Majesty to local political representatives. Later the Queen left in a horse-drawn open carriage, part of an impressive horse powered procession. The Lord Mayor left in his official car.

Bristol Celebrations (1977)
Celebration of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.


Reviewed by WBJ Higgins - 1978
[This document was originally entitled
Royal Silver Jubilee, 1977]

In an issue of the BCS magazine dated January 1977, the editor, Mike George, included this item:

"42 years ago, members of this society produced a film called Bristol Celebrations. It was a record of the events in Bristol during the Jubilee celebrations of King George V in 1935. This film is now being sought by the National Film Archive and is of great value. The committee feel that we have an obligation to do the same for future members of this society by recording this year's Jubilee celebrations."

A tremendous amount of preliminary work, research and correspondence was put in hand by Bob Spacie at the start of the year with a view to checking on all the events which would take place in Bristol during Jubilee year. He carried on much correspondence with Mrs S.C.Sweet concerning celebrations at King's Walk, Uplands, Highridge on Jubilee Day, June 7th and arranged for filming to take place there. He also worked to obtain passes and permits for filming from more favoured positions during the visit of the Queen to Bristol.


On Tuesday 7th June, two filming crews were at work. Ken Lee and John Rowcliffe were shooting at Redland Green where a Jubilee Fair, organised by the Redland and Cotham Amenities Society, was held. Children's roundabout, a fancy dress competition and parade were included in their subjects. They also filmed a street party at Hotwells. Bob Spacie, Jack Baker and Joe Higgins covered the fancy dress procession and judging and a children's tea party at King's Walk, They also shot festivities in three other areas of the City. About 300 street parties were held in Bristol alone.


On Saturday, 11th June a great procession, headed by the Lord Mayor and with over a hundred floats from firms and organisations, made its way, despite early heavy rain, from the assembly area on the Sea Walls, via Whiteladies Road, the University, the BRI, Broadmead, Union Street, the Centre to Canon's Marsh. A number of BCS cameramen covered the route - two travelling with the procession and the others at vantage points along the way. Bob Spacie was on an open-deck bus with a jazz band while Malcolm Stevens travelled on his company's float. Along the route were Harold Mayes, Ken Lee, John Rowcliffe, Jack Baker and Joe Higgins.


On 8th August, the filming continued on the occasion of the Royal visit to Avon. HMY Britannia had arrived in the entrance lock of the Royal Portbury Dock at 0900. The Royal Party, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Andrew accompanying the Queen, arrived at the Centre at 11.40 a.m. Joe Higgins filmed from the crowd at the War Memorial end of the Centre and endeavoured to follow the Royal Party on the tour of inspection of Reserve Forces Display stands on the central island. Don Smith had a permit from the Central Office of Information to film from a reserved area in the roadway at the Neptune Statue end: here he obtained shots of the Royal Party's departure in carriages and cars, escorted by Mounted Police for Temple Meads Station.


Bob Spacie was stationed in Queen Square to continue the coverage of the procession and finally Jim Brunton was waiting at Temple Meads, with the second of the MOI permits, to film their arrival at the station and the departure for Bath. Inside the station, Paul Stuckey found the lack of light made further filming unsatisfactory.


The film was shot on Super 8 mm Kodachrome 40 and with the assistance and hospitality of Clarice and Doug. Martin, the editing was done by Joe Higgins. Ron Elson was responsible for the titles and George Rose put on the sound stripe.


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