Cat no. 548

East Anglian Coastline

Running time25:53 Colour Sound 1959 East Anglia

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An advertising film for Ransomes lawnmowers taking the guise of a travelogue of the East Anglian coastline from Kings Lynn to Harwich.

Genre:

Portrait of a PlacePromotional

After general shots of the East Anglian countryside, showing half timbered and thatched building as well as country churches, the film begins its exploration of the East Anglian coast in search of Ransomes Lawnmowers at Kings Lynn. The salt marshes are filmed and fishing boats and coasters in the Port. There are shots of the Customs House and of the Guildhall. At Hunstanton the gardens along the front and the beach feature. The Pier is visible in the background. At Brancaster, the film features The Royal West Norfolk Golf Club. Here we encounter the first of the Ransomes lawnmowers. At Wells there are shots of the Quay and of the town, emphasising the flint buildings. Round towered churches are shown. There is a brief shot of Burnham Thorpe, birthplace of Lord Nelson, on the way to Holkham Hall. Here the gardens are filmed, but the film makers appear unable to find a Ransomes lawnmower. There are shots of the front and the gardens at Sheringham and crab boats are filmed at sea. At Cromer the camera pans from the sea front out to sea, showing the Pier. There are shots along a narrow street and then in the sea front gardens we encounter a petrol driven Mercury mower. Another is seen mowing a sports ground. The sequence of Cromer finishes with a shot from Lighthouse Hill back towards the town with the Church towering above it. At Happisburgh, there is a shot of the lighthouse and of the sand dunes and general country scenes. A steam train puffs over a country level crossing. There is a speeded up view of the line from the drivers view point, before the train pulls up at Yarmouth Station. At Yarmouth we see the Wellington Pier, town scenes and the beach. There is a shot of a bowls tournament in action and then the gardens along the sea front, including the waterways. Here we encounter the Ajax roller mower. This is demonstrated in a domestic garden. A tractor drawn mower is filmed mowing a cricket field. There are fairground shots of the Pleasure Beach and then more lawnmowers are filmed in the industrial area. A speeded-up sequence demonstrates bad lawn mowing. The walls of Burgh Castle and a shot of a field showing the outline of the Roman Road complete the sequence on Norfolk.

The next sequence begins with aerial views of Lowestoft. These shots become a feature of the latter part of the film, that seeks to show coastal erosion as well as the estuaries that predominate along the Suffolk Coast. At Lowestoft, the film shows the harbour, the beach and the 'Sparrows Nest' gardens. There is an interior shot of the Corporation Glass House before a brief shot of Oulton Broad . In Nicholas Everitt Park the film encounters another lawnmower. There are general Broads scenes, featuring a Regatta, before the film continues to move south to Southwold. The Lighthouse features and there are shots of the town and of Gun Hill. At Dunwich, the history of the coast and its gradual disappearance is covered. Traces of buildings are revealed in the shoreline and the ruins of a Franciscan Priory are shown. In a macabre sequence bones and a skull are among the flotsam and jetsam washed up after a gale. They also manage to 'find' a lawn mower washes up that they dig out of the shingle. This is then shown to be in working order. The Moot Hall at Aldeburgh features as do fishing boats that are hauled up onto the beach by winch. A view of Orford Castle, which will shortly overlook the Nuclear Power Station planned at Sizewell, provides a link to electric mowers. There are aerial views of the Deben Estuary showing the Tide Mill at Woodbridge. Over coastal scenes the commentary mentions the find at Sutton Hoo. There are static shots of some of the treasures discovered. At Felixstowe, the gardens along the front and the cliff gardens feature. There are aerial views of the Orwell Estuary and interior views of the Orwell Park Observatory. An advertisement showing the method of construction for a push along lawnmower is incongruously inserted, followed by scenes of it being used by a man and a woman. (Inference from commentary: even a woman can use it, although she would be unlikely to mow the lawn in high heels.) There are shots of Woolverston and Pin Mill showing yachting scenes. At Shotley the Royal Navy mow their lawns with a Ransomes mower and there are interior shots of the Nelson Hall. The film ends showing views of the Port at Harwich and Parkeston Quay with not a lawnmower in sight. These are included in a recapitulation at the end of the film, in case anyone was in danger of forgetting the real motive for the film. The film finishes with the caption `Ransomes Mow The World'.

Featured Organisations:

Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies; The Royal West Norfolk Golf Club; Royal Navy

Featured Buildings:

Moot Hall, Aldeburgh; Orford Castle; Burgh Castle; The Observatory, Orwell Park; Cromer Church; Nelson Hall, Shotley; Cromer Pier; Southwold Lighthouse; Franciscan Priory, Dunwich; Tide Mill, Woodbridge; Happisburgh Lighthouse; Great Yarmouth Station; Hunstanton Pier; The Wellington Pier, Great Yarmouth; Holkham Hall; Customs House, Kings Lynn; Guildhall, King's Lynn; The East Anglian Coastline.

Ransomes Film Unit

Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries

D.C. Chipperfield

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