Experience an exciting film adventure with veteran journalist Hal McClure as you wander legendary Britain to separate the factual from the fanciful - from the distant pagan past to the machine-age modern. University Travel Club's fifth film of the current season uses the "legend theme" to illustrate today's England, Scotland and Wales. McClure will be on hand to narrate his new film, "Land of Legend," in Kingsbury Hall, Thurs., Jan. 6, at 7:30 p.m.
The film begins on the great windswept plain of Salisbury, where the Stonehenge ruins have stood in silent vigil for more than 4,000 years. Why were these giant stones, some weighing 40 tons, laboriously erected to carefully align with the mid-summer solstice? And what of the giant white horses carved in chalk hills, or the mysterious "crop circles" that have appeared overnight in farmers' fields?Not far away is Glastonbury, where legend says King Arthur and Queen Guinevere were buried, and where Joseph of Arimathea brought the Chalice of the Last Supper. The search for the historical Arthur picks up at castles at Tintagel in Cornwall, Wales, and finally on the Isle of Man off the Scottish coast. Some believe this was Arthur's Avalon.
While in Scotland, we will follow the hunt for "Nessie," the fabled Loch Ness monster that has been "sighted " more than 3,000 times since the mid-1930s. Witnesses describe it as being at least 20 feet long, with an elongated neck, a small head and humps. They say St. Columba first saw a similar creature here at least 1,400 years ago.
William Shakespeare is yet another Elizabethan mystery. Some scholars claim that this man could not have written all those beautifully crafted poems and dramas. They have offered a number of Shakespeare substitutes including Sir Francis Bacon, Sir Walter Raleigh, the Earl of Oxford and even Queen Elizabeth.
The legendary story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men has thrilled generations for 600 years. The quest for the "real" Robin begins at Nottingham Castle and today's Sherwood Forest and ends at Kirklees, one of his traditional resting places.
Most people know Sherlock Holmes as a fictional character, but thousands around the world believe the great detective lives and they continue to write him at his Baker St. digs, today occupied by a London bank. Mail addressed to Holmes is answered faithfully by his "secretary," a bank employee.
"No other area in the English-speaking world has as many legends and fables as the British Isles - from the pagan past to today's headlines," McClure said. "It was exciting to discover that some of these myths that we first heard about in our childhood actually existed." McClure, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, was a foreign correspondent and bureau chief for the Associated Press, covering some of the world's top news stories before he turned to travelog production. He edits Travelogue Magazine, the journal of travel films and videos.
General admission tickets to the film will be sold weekdays at Kingsbury Hall, room 210, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and again Thursday from 6 p.m. until showtime. A free shuttle bus will begin service in Rice Stadium parking lot about 6:40 p.m.