This film is part of Free

Tyneside Summer Exhibition

Everyone loves a cowboy at Newcastles Exhibition Park in the 1970s.

News 1977 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


The exhibition has character, and it has characters. A Texan Deputy Sheriff with a Wild West display attracts Tyne Tees TV roving reporter Phil McDonnell as he guides us around the carnival delights of a 1970s Tyneside Summer Exhibition in Newcastle. The crowds are entertained by colourful novelty gift stalls, sheep dog contests, a scary Rupert Bear and the magnificent Whites Mammoth Gavioli organ.

The Tyneside Summer Exhibition was held over 5 days from 1963-1987 at Exhibition Park, originally host to the 1887 Jubilee Exhibition and the 1929 North East Coast Exhibition. It attracted around 180,000 people in 1973. The San Antonio cowboy, Sheriff Danny Arnold, ran the Texan public relations office in London and was frequently invited to appear at English events with an American Western flavour from the 1950s to 1970s. In 1954 George Parmley, a pioneer in fairground organ preservation and later chairman of the Show Organ Society, rescued the derelict Gavioli organ from the Welsh Dragon scenic railway at Barry Island. Fully restored, it debuted at Lambton Park in Chester-le-Street in 1956.