Friday, January 1, 2016

The Italian Job

Ahhhhh, such are the joys of the internet.
People THINK they know something, post wrong info...and within a short space of time, it becomes solid fact!
Thus an old video clip of a very skillful motorcyle display gets cited with dates ranging all over the known universe! Yet just a tiny bit of
research would have clarified things...
Pathé News was a producer of newsreels and documentaries from 1910-1970 in the UK (older readers will recall its newsreels playing in movie theatres, ahead of the feature flick). The Pathé News archive is known today as British Pathé. Its fully-digitised collection is available online...and is the source of this particular clip.
The short footage (below) is of a motorcycle display in Rome, to mark the 107th anniversary of the Italian police. The force formed in 1848, so that means the film can be no earlier than 1955. And among the officials seated in the grandstand, you'll see Italian President Giovanni Gronchi - who held office from 1955-1962.
Thus - unlike many YouTube posters - I'm confident that the footage can be dated at/soon after 1955. And Pathé News has dated it at 1959 (a few years later than the anniversary year...but a damn sight more accurate than those who said the 1930s!!). that's cleared up, enjoy some pretty fancy motorcycling!

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