Are you related to anyone who once worked for Pathé News? If so, BBC4 want to hear from you and may be interested in interviewing you for their upcoming TV series The Story of Pathé.
Pathé was one of the biggest news companies of their day, employing hundreds of cameramen, writers, editors and production staff.
Pathé stopped producing newsreels in the 1970s, and so it is likely to be older generations who are still alive today who worked for them, so make sure to ask your Grandparents!
BBC4 are interested in hearing from anyone whose parents or grandparents worked on Pathé News, but in particular the families of the following six individuals:
Bob Danvers-Walker: One of British Pathé’s most recognisable narrators, who later on became one of ITV’s first announcers, providing the voice for iconic shows like The Wheel of Fortune. Bob had two children, Michael and Suzanne. Michael was an actor and Suzanne appeared in this newsreel about Ealing Art School (click here to view)
Terry Ashwood: Terry was a long-serving cameraman and producer at Pathé, whose daughter Gaye Ashwood features in several newsreels including this fantastic Egypt Travelogue (click here to view)
G Clement Cave: A Pathé news editor
Howard Thomas: Another key team member who has two daughters Rosemary and Carol
G Thomas Cummins: (aka Tommy Cummins) If you have any information related to Pathé’s staff from yesteryear, or know anything that may be of interest to BBC4 in making this exciting series then please get in touch via British Pathé’s free online newsreel archive: http://www.britishpathe.com with the subject heading ‘Story of Pathé’
Watch this great 1953 newsreel of staff working in a Pathe office (click here to view)
A brief history of British Pathé:
Pathé News first opened a British office on Wardour Street in London, 1910. Producing biweekly newsreels that were distributed around cinemas in Britain, Pathé became the first major source of news through moving pictures. During the First World War, the cinema newsreels were called the Pathé Animated Gazettes and for the first time this provided newspapers with competition. After 1918, British Pathé started producing a series of Cinemagazines, where the Newsreels were much longer and more comprehensive. The ‘classic’ Pathé style is that of the WWII years and after, especially the ones with the voice of Bob Danvers Walker doing the commentary. After 1928, sound was introduced and by 1930, British Pathé were covering news, entertainment, sport, culture and women’s issues through programmes including the Pathétone Weekly, the Pathé Pictorial, the Gazette and Eve’s Film Review. By the time Pathé eventually stopped producing the cinema newsreel in 1970, they had accumulated a rich assortment of historical footage including Queen Victoria’s funeral, the Hindenburg disaster, Elvis Presley and Albert Einstein.
90,000 digitised clips from Pathé’s vaults at Pinewood Studios can be watched for free in their National Lottery supported archive www.britishpathe.com