Cat no. 651

Crab Fishing and Lifeboat

Running time30:09 Colour Silent 1955 Sheringham, Norfolk

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The crab fishing industry and lifeboat services at Sheringham.


Archive AliveIndustrial / Sponsored Film

At dawn the crab-boats are launched from the beach at Sheringham. At sea, there are long shots of the boats. The crab pots are manhandled into the boats. Each pot is attached to a rope, or shank. There are twenty pots to each shank and these are marked at each end by a buoy and a flag. With the sun on the water, the catch is removed from the pot and then the pots are re-shot.

On the way back to Sheringham, the crabs are measured by a member of the crew. The boats are hauled up the beach over portable runners by an electric winch. Children play in the sea beside the boat as this operation is carried out. The crab pots are carried up the beach by the fishermen. The crabs are packed into boxes ready for market. They are loaded onto a hand cart and taken off the promenade to a waiting van. Some of the boxes are labelled for Norfolk companies in Kings Lynn and Heacham, others are labelled for the Billingsgate fish market. These are sent by train to Sheringham Station. Some others are taken to local fishmongers. Finally, the rest are processed locally to be sold as crab paste. A display of West's crab paste is shown in a shop window.

The following sequences show the maintenance work required to keep the fishing boats running. Maintenance is carried out on the boats themselves. The crab pots are repaired and new ones built. Some of the fishermen work on the promenade and the beach, others work in their gardens. A new crab-boat, 'Miss Britain', is pulled through the streets from Emery's boat builders and launched from the beach. Small children ride in the boat as it proceeds. On the promenade, one boy has a model of the boat. A fictitious sequence follows in which the Sheringham fishermen and life-boat crew simulate a launching of the Sheringham lifeboat Foresters' Centenary. The secretary receives a call and the crew rushes to the lifeboat. The lifeboat is launched to rescue a waterlogged crab boat. The lifeboat returns and is winched into the shed. The final sequence shows bait being prepared for the following morning's fishing.

Background Information:

This film was shown locally in Sheringham at the end of July 1955 (reported in the Eastern Daily Press 1/8/55) and on other occasions. Its title ranges from that given to Crab Fishing At Sheringham.

Featured Organisations:

R. Emery And Sons, boat builders; The RNLI

Featured Buildings:

Sheringham Station

Brian Coe

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