Super 8 Stories: Dundrod and Ulster Motorsport






1940s, 1950s


14 December 2003 (first transmission)


04min 57sec




Super 8





B Metcalfe, BBC NI, Doubleband Films, G McMillan

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Brian Metcalfe, Doubleband Films, Gordon McMillan

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Brian Metcalf and Ernest McMillan recount the glory days of Ulster motorsport from the 1940s and 1950s with footage of bike trials and the famous Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod featuring immortal drivers such as Stirling Moss. This clip appeared in Series 1, Programme 3 of Super 8 Stories.


The late Fred McMillan’s films were forwarded to the Super 8 Stories series and leant to the Digital Film Archive by his son Gordon. “He was a veterinary officer with the (then) Ministry of Agriculture”, says Gordon. “He was deeply interested in all forms of the visual arts – be it photography, cine or painting. As a father of young children in the early 1950s he recorded many events on cine film for posterity. I recall watching him edit and splice the films in his workshop and viewing the films, usually on a Sunday, having first pulled the curtains. He took cine for about six years and then devoted more time to still and slide photography, recording scenes that he might consider turning into a painting later”. Gordon now has digital transfers of his father’s material and says, “I still watch them from time to time. I am actually editing my own ‘Super 8 Story’, as it were, filming relatives to combine with my father’s cine before the stories are lost forever. The films for me are a priceless collection evoking many fond memories of past times”. Brian Metcalfe was a flax spinner with a keen interest in motorbikes and motorsport at the time he took up movie-making. “They call us petrolheads I think today!”, he says. Following the events that he, family members and others were taking part in was what inspired Brian to film and he shot on two different formats with his Bell & Howell 8mm 2 lens and P Bolex 16mm 3 lens cameras. Watching the films with family became a tradition at Christmas time although they are watched less today: “I would only rarely watch them, though now they are on video we get more fun from them”. Brian didn’t keep up the interest when video cameras took over and over time began to sell off his equipment. “I inherited my father’s Zeiss Ikonta with a collapsible wire frame viewer for moving objects, such as bikes and cars, and filmed at the Isle of Man Manx Trophy in 1949. I now wish that I’d never sold it or all the others I bought from the Lizars camera shop in Belfast”.

Shot List

Quick cuts of various motorsports (car and bike) from 1940s and 1950s. Cross country bike trials. Ulster Grand Prix at Dundrod with various shots around the course. Spectators watching the race from a hedge. Driver standing beside car.


Narrator - Maire Jones; Camera - Michael Quinn; Sound - Sion Kerr, Gregg Bailey; Music Consultants - Jim Meredith, Ralph McLean; Production Accountant - Anne Hegarty; Production Assistant - Tammy Moore; Graphic - Alan Perry; Dubbing - One Zero Zero; Online Editor - Johnathan Fetherstone; Researcher - Ronan Feely; Archivist - Evan Marshall; Assistant Producer - Jenny Waugh; Executive Producers - Deirdre Devlin, Michael Hewitt; Editors - Greg Darby, Henry Wood; Producer - Diarmuid Lavery; Director - Brian Henry Martin



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