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70’s Harrogate promotional film becomes internet sensation

filmA film aimed at encouraging businesses to relocate to the spa town of Harrogate has become an internet hit through the Yorkshire Film Archive website – more than 40 years after it was made!

“Harrogate: The Boardroom of the North”, which is 30 minutes long, was commissioned by Harrogate Borough Council and narrated by its then chief executive, J Neville Knox.

It follows a “professional” couple, Alex Fielding and his wife, Jenny, who “left London reluctantly, far from anxious to live in what they always thought of as the industrial north”.

However, as soon as they step out of the town’s railway station they quickly realise that Harrogate is far from industrial.

In the film, Mr Fielding is entertained by executives from some of Harrogate’s best known international businesses – ICI, Robert Hirst and Dunlopillo – none of which exist in the town any longer.

The pair are seen enjoying an amateur dramatics performance in the Royal Hall, and watching a fashion show in the Assembly Rooms during the Menswear Association of Britain trade fair.

Hassle-free disc-parking, floral displays, Rudding Park Hall, The Great Yorkshire Show, Harewood House, Fountains Abbey, Coppice Valley swimming baths and superb schools are all cited as excellent reasons to relocate to Harrogate.

Towards the end of the film, Mr Fielding enjoys a game of darts and a pint of beer in the Black Swan Inn at Burn Bridge before the pair finish the evening off dancing in Carrington’s night club.

Sue Howard, Yorkshire Film Archive director, said:

This is one of the most popular films on our website. Its aim was to sell Harrogate as the town for businesses in the south, particularly around London, to relocate to, but it does much more than that.

It’s fascinating seeing how much things have changed since it was made just over 40 years ago.

Sadly the businesses which feature so prominently in the film no longer exist, except ICI which moved from the town three decades ago, but what hasn’t changed is Harrogate’s popularity as a town where people want to work and live.

For many people this film will be a real trip down memory lane. One of the highlights is the men’s fashion show. The clothes are just incredible!

The Yorkshire Film Archive is a registered charity which finds, preserves and provides public access to moving image made in or about the Yorkshire region.

Harrogate: Boardroom of the North, can be viewed on the Yorkshire Film Archive website at, where there are over 60 hours of film from around the region to watch and enjoy.

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