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The Vicinal on Ciné

Alan Pearce, 13th July 2004

Alan Pearce treated the meeting to a nostalgic look at the Belgian Vicinal in the Charleroi Area in the late 1980’s. Alan explained that he had started filming the Vicinal in 1969 using a standard 8 cine camera. In 1986 he had converted to Super 8 Sound film and was able to recreate the distinctive sounds of the Vicinal with its klaxon horns and high-speed motor whine. The evening’s programme had been edited within the past two months and was designed to capture the flavour of the late 1980’s. The first part of the programme mainly concentrated on S class cars on routes 63 and 30 operating to the west of Charleroi, and filmed in a large variety of locations, whilst the second half dealt with the 1991 ASVI programme showing a variety of museum cars running between Anderlues and Thuin, including the preserved PCC. The use of a large screen and good sound equipment combined with excellent photography created a realism that enabled the audience to lose themselves in the atmosphere of the Vicinal as it noisily passed through the towns and villages of rural Belgium. It is sad to think that so little of what we saw can be seen today.

John Laker, 19/7/04

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