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Stanley Schofield Sound Stories 

Gordon Pitt (left) recording Graham Walker’s interview with TT rider Peter Pawson (1960)

Gordon Pitt (left) recording Graham Walker’s interview with TT rider Peter Pawson (1960). Image courtesy of Susan Jordan.

The Film & Video Collection recently received a donation of master audio recordings from the Stanley Schofield ‘Sound Stories’ series. These belonged to Gordon Pitt, who was the chief sound recordist for the company and were donated by his daughter and grandson.

Stanley Schofield Productions was a commercial sound and film unit that principally focussed on capturing motorsport events from the 1950s until the early 1980s. Their vinyl records were very popular and included recordings from such events as Grands Prix, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Isle of Man TT. As well as the race commentary, the records included interviews with the competitors such as John Surtees and Mike Hailwood. Both Graham Walker and his son Murray were frequently involved with the productions, both providing commentary and conducting interviews. One of the albums, titled ‘Vintage Memories’, featured commentary by Edward, Lord Montagu. Their audio recordings are notable for their distinctive colourful covers, with the reverse side being full of information about the race and track involved.

A selection of records from the Stanley Schofield 'Sound Stories' series

Records from the Stanley Schofield 'Sound Stories' series

The donors had previously generously donated over 60 items from Gordon Pitt’s personal archive including event programmes from the period, audio masters, LPs and EPs. This further donation of over 100 items covers the Isle of Man TT races from 1957 to 1969. In addition to the audio masters and copies of the final released LPs and EPs, the donation includes unique records meticulously kept by Gordon Pitt of the races he recorded. Also included are two original pastel drawings of the album cover artworks, dating from the 1960s which expertly capture the movement and excitement of the TT races.

The National Motor Museum Trust was given access to Gordon Pitt’s scrapbook which has a wealth of images and memorabilia from his career with Stanley Schofield. Often donations to the Film & Video Collection have lost the story behind them so it is rare and fascinating to have an insight into how these recordings went from trackside to record store, then finally into the Collections.

 

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