Cat no. 340

That Little Fishing Village

Running time25:10 Colour Silent 1957 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk

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The herring fishing industry in Great Yarmouth.


Archive AliveIndustrial / Sponsored Film

The opening scenes are aerial shots over the River Yare from Vauxhall to Town Hall Quay. These show an elderly gentleman in the foreground looking across the River to the Town Hall. Haven Bridge is in view. The camera pans along the Quay, showing the Town Hall and other buildings. This is a good general street scene showing traffic, including a bus and men pushing handcarts. The camera shots down on drifters moored three or four deep.

The next sequence is of steam drifter going out to sea at evening. The light fades as this scene progresses. It is practically dark before they pass the end of the Quay. There are some steam drifters among the diesel driven craft. The next scenes show the boats returning watched by some women. There is an aerial shot of the Quay and of a drifter mooring. A sample of the catch is rushed to auction. The men pose for the camera with the catch on the Quay. There is a lengthy sequence devoted to the fisher girls. These are of various ages, mostly quite elderly. They are seen knitting and posing for the camera. They demonstrate their skill of walking and knitting, not easy, especially when using double pointed needles. Some of the fisher girls pose in a group with some fishermen. One of these is winding wool. There is a close-up shot of a fisher girl's face. There are some general port scenes showing men leaving a boat. Some of them are wearing the remains of army uniform. There are shots across the river to the Fish Quay showing the buildings where the fisher girls worked. There are shots of drifters at the Quay and of gulls.

At Quay level another sequence devoted to the fisher girls shows them arriving for work and then films them at work. They empty the catch, gut the fish and pack it into barrels with plenty of salt. The nature of the work as well as the dress of the women is shown clearly. The next sequence shows a large Russian vessel being towed into the Harbour entrance by a steam tug. There is a brief shot of the Fish Quay entrance with the slogan Eat More Herring. Several shots of the Quay and drifters follow, including one showing a motor auxiliary barge moving past a line of drifters. Nelson's Monument is visible in the background. A longer sequence shows barrels of herring being loaded onto a ship from Riga. Once again drifters pass through the harbour entrance. On the Quay are rod and line fishermen. Further scenes show the drifters battling against rough seas.

The next part of the film is shot in 1957 showing scenes of the Herring Fishery Review at Yarmouth. This was the combined fleets of Lowestoft and Yarmouth. It shows drifters bedecked with bunting and flags, lifeboats and an R.N. launch in the harbour entrance. There is also a variety of longshore fishing boats and inshore fishing boats, more drifters and a naval patrol vessel. There are shots of the craft moored off Yarmouth with an R. N. vessel in the background. A pan of the view out to sea.

Featured Organisations:

The Royal Navy

Featured Events:

Herring Fisheries Review, 1957

Featured Buildings:

Town Hall; Nelson's Monument

Bernard Bothams

Bernard Bothams

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