MOVIE REEL: Neil Atkinson of Carrosserie with the 1978 VW Beetle featured in the film Sulfur and White about the life of NSPCC Ambassador and mountaineer David Tait

BARNEY classic car restoration company Carrosserie bids farewell to a ‘celebrity car’ that has undergone a makeover in its workshop.
The 1978 VW Beetle arrived at the company’s workshop at Harmire Enterprise Park this summer following filming of Sulfur and White, which tells the life story of mountaineer David Tait.
Carrosserie’s new owner Neil Atkinson said: “In the film the car was driven by Joanne Tait, played by Anna Friel. It was packed with cameras and equipment and I think it had a rough time filming in South Africa.
“We came in for a paint job, a new custom vinyl hood and some mechanical and suspension work on it. Now it is ready for a new life in sunny Portugal.”
In real life, the vehicle belongs to film subject Mr Tait, who is now an ambassador for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and was abused while in South Africa. Sulfur and White shares how his professional success masked a number of traumatic secrets in his life.
Mr Atkinson said: “David has climbed Everest an incredible five times in the last decade and raised over £1million for the NSPCC. Each stream of the film raises money for the NSPCC.”
The car should be returned to him in the coming weeks.
Mr Atkinson described buying Carrosserie in March as a homecoming growing up in the city.
His father, Frank Atkinson, was the director of the Bowes Museum before leaving to found the Beamish Museum in Stanley.
Mr Atkinson, who lives near Prudhoe, sold the staffing and employment business he founded to fund the purchase of Carrosserie.
He said: “I love cars so it was a great opportunity.
“I’ve played around with cars on the side in all the businesses I’ve run.”
He has also been involved in club racing with a Fiesta XR 2 and RGB racing using kit cars powered by motorcycle engines
For more information about the work on the car finder for The Carrosserie Company on Facebook and more information about the film Sulfur and White, visit