Cat no. 685

An A-Z of East Anglian Villages: Kersey

Running time4:47 Colour Sound 1974 Kersey, Suffolk

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Village life in Kersey.

The opening shots show the famous ford through the middle of the village of Kersey. Ducks swim in the ford and a tractor passes through. Some people feed the ducks. There are shots of the village showing half timbered and painted cottages. Jean Goodman enters the Bell Hotel.

A long sequence records the thoughts of the writer Hammond Innes, an inhabitant of Kersey. He explains why he lives in Kersey. He and his wife Dorothy are filmed walking through the village. He explains that he moved to Kersey when rents for cottages were as low as 1/3d or 1/6d per week. Most of the people who lived in the cottages, he explains, are now living in the council houses up on the top. As a result, he maintains, the older houses are better cared for. There is a shot of these and an aerial shot of the village. There are shots of St. Mary's Church. Innes describes the disadvantages of living in Kersey. At weekends it fills with visitors and their cars. He and Dorothy are filmed in their garden. These shots are intercut with further village shots.

Jean Goodman visits the Kersey pottery and watches the potter Robert Tarling at work. There is an interior of his show room and shots of the Elizabethan murals on the exterior wall of his cottage. Other features of local houses include a stallion's tail nailed on a house to denote that it had been the home of the local horse doctor. Mrs. Ivy Tricker is filmed tending the flowers around the village pump. The final shots are aerial shots of the village.

Background Information:

Ralph Hammond Innes was born in 1913 in Horsham, Sussex. He was educated at Cranbrook School, Kent. He began his career as a journalist in 1934 on the Financial News, later to become the Financial Times. He wrote his first novel in 1936 because, poorly paid during the depression years, he needed the money to get married. His love of travel inspired many of his novels. In 1947 he lived with Norwegian whalers on the islands off Bergen researching his novel 'The Blue Ice.' In 1954 his novel 'The White South' was filmed as 'Hell Below Zero', starring Alan Ladd and Stanley Baker. In 1956 he published 'The Mary Deare' which launched him into 'super sellerdom.' In 1959 the novel was filmed as the 'Wreck Of The Mary Deare,' starring Charlton Heston, Gary Cooper and Michael Redgrave. Hammond Innes was awarded the CBE in 1978. He died peacefully at his Kersey home on Wednesday, June 10th 1998, aged 84. Dorothy Innes, nee Lang, was a former actress. She died in 1989.

Notes:

The commentary on the original film would have been added later as `studio sound'. This has not been preserved.

Featured People:

Hammond Innes; Dorothy Innes; Robert Tarling, potter; Mrs. Ivy Tricker

Featured Organisations:

The Kersey Pottery

Featured Buildings:

The Bell Hotel; St. Mary's Church, Kersey; The Kersey Pottery

BBC East

Jean Goodman

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