First Overland Networking Event in Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand

On September 1st, 1955, six young men set out from London in two Landrovers, with the goal of becoming the first to drive entirely overland to Singapore. Six months and six days later they motored over the Johor causeway, having achieved their ambition.

The journey was planned at Cambridge University, where five of the six had been students. They managed to persuade David Attenborough, then a young BBC producer, to buy a clockwork cine camera and give them lots of 16 mm colour film stock. The resulting footage, shot by Antony Barrington Brown, was edited into three 30-minute programs by Attenborough and expedition member Adrian Cowell, later to became a renowned documentary filmmaker. Shown once on the BBC in 1956, in black and white, the programs were then lost and never broadcast or seen again.

Barrington Brown, however, had managed to hold onto the original edited film stock and the FCCT digitized that for DVD. It is an astonishing work, with all the charm and pleasure of an old-time travelogue. You feel a part of the expedition yourself as you follow these six young men on the adventure of a lifetime.

While the journey itself was remarkable in so many ways, seeing it now is a trip in a time-machine, to a vanished world, a world of tractor-buses that ply the trackless sands of Syria and Iraq, or of virgin teak forests where a traffic jam is likely to be of elephants, or the trek down the ‘Stillwell Road’ into Burma, built by General Joseph Stillwell and the American Army engineers, to supply Chiang Kai Shek’s army fighting the Japanese in China.

Cover charge for non-members: 150 Baht

Date:  21 June, 2012 at 08:00 pm.

Location: Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand

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