Something’ll Happen by Friday Screening (Thursday, 23 February 2023, 3pm and 6.30pm, Whitby Museum)

1st February 2023

Whitby Museum presents: Something’ll Happen by Friday - A special screening of the 1967 BBC film documenting a week in the life of the Whitby Gazette followed by talk and Q&A by ex-editor Jon Stokoe.

Thursday 23rd February | 3.00pm and 6.30pm

This special screening is the first in a series of special 2023 events as the Whitby Museum to mark their 200th anniversary. And what better way to start than by a look back at daily life in Whitby in the 1960’s, seen through the eyes of local newspaper reporters, and captured on film for the BBC television documentary with the title ‘Something’ll Happen by Friday’ as they follow a week in the life of the Whitby Gazette in 1967.

The Gazette in those days was a broadsheet, owned and printed in Whitby, and the programme title, ‘Something’ll Happen by Friday’, was chosen to reflect the optimism of the editorial staff as they contemplated blank pages at the start of another week, knowing full well that by the time the paper went to press, another week of local news would fill the pages.

In many ways the film depicts a lost way of life.  Reporter's copy, all taken from pocket notebooks, was written up on little portable typewriters, and set into type on linotype machines, and peoples lives duly recorded - their births, marriages and deaths, their successes, and their misdemeanours.

The BBC cameraman Peter Dearden filmed dramatic shots on the moors, when a sheep stepped aside to reveal the Fylingdales early-warning station radomes, better known at the time as golf-balls, as well as equally dramatic shots of a Robin Hoods Bay cottage collapsing down the cliff.  Contrast that with the more leisurely daily chin wagging down on the harbour, the trials and tribulations of missing speakers at the local Womens Institute, and local characters, including the Gazettes oldest contributor, Major John Fairfax-Blakeborough, well over 80 years old when he was filmed, stoically repeating the Yorkshire saying "it will save you no small trouble if when speaking you take care of whom you speak, to whom you speak, and who and when and where."

There was indeed always something happening in Whitby, and we hope you will join us for what will be a very local, very entertaining event.  The screening will be introduced by Sue Howard for the Yorkshire Film Archive, who first acquired the film from Mr Malcolm Barker, some twenty years ago. The Archive will continue to care for and preserve the original film, as well as creating newly digitised masters for screenings such as this event on the 23rd February.

Following the screening there will be the opportunity for first-hand reflections and insight into the workings of the paper from Jon Stokoe, rightly proud of his time as editor of his home town newspaper, the Whitby Gazette, as well as The Dalesman magazine. Jon now oversees a number of Newsquest’s Yorkshire weeklies, and will no doubt reflect on the changes to the industry since the making of ‘Something’ll Happen by Friday’, back in 1967.

This special screening is part of new project called TV Time Machine, a collaboration between three Northern film archives, the Yorkshire and North East Film Archives, and the North West Film Archive, supported by Film Hub North with National Lottery funding on behalf of the BFI Film Audience Network.

Tickets are available via Eventbrite

£5 for non-members, free to Whitby Museum members