How clever clogs' advice put a spanner in dad's royal film
I'm sure many readers will recall the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's visit to Leicester on May 9, 1958, during which time the royal party visited De Montfort Hall, the University of Leicester, Corah's and Abbey Park, before returning to the city centre and the Town Hall.
It was announced the royal visitors would fly into Stoughton Aerodrome, now Leicester Airport, to start their tour and I have received an amusing reminiscence of that day from Michael Parker.
"At that time, our family home was on Gartree Road, next to what is now the Farm Park. We realised that the Queen's car would pass our front gate and this would be a unique photo opportunity," says Mr Parker, of Great Glen.
"My father was the proud possessor of a clockwork cine-camera with which he had filmed family holidays and weddings, and on the big day, he wound up the camera's motor and we stood at our front gate, along with many other excited people from the area.
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"'Dad,' said I (clever clogs): 'If you run the camera at 64 frames per second instead of the normal 16, when you project the film, it will be in slow motion and we will get a much longer look at the royal car as it goes by'.
"Amidst the cheers of the waving crowd, the Queen and duke came into view and passed slowly by, while Dad held the camera steady, pressed the button and camera's motor raced away.
"After the film was processed and returned to us, the result was a piece of suspense worthy of Hitchcock himself.
"First to appear on the screen was the radiator of the royal car and then very slowly the car's windscreen appeared. And then... the film ran out.
"Running at four times the normal speed, it had come to the end of the reel. By the time Her Majesty and the duke came into view, the camera had stopped running.
"Fortunately, I had my new little 35mm camera loaded with black and white film and managed to get two shots of the car as it passed.
"Dad's advice to me was that I should keep my clever ideas to myself in the future!"