Film ID:
NEFA 8851

ABOUT BRITAIN: THE COAST OF KING JACK

1980

Visitor Tabs

Description

Tyne Tees TV travelogue on the coast of Northumberland presented by Ashington-born Jack Charlton, former Leeds United and England footballer and manager of Middlesbrough FC.

Credit: Tyne Tees TV ident

Title: About Britain [over view of Lindisfarne from coast]

Jack Charlton walks around the dramatic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle on a remote headland on the Northumbrian coast.

Credit: Jack Charlton

Charlton recounts some of the history of the castle, the castle keep in the background. He explains that he’s brought the viewer here because it’s right in the middle of the Northumberland coastline. Aerial shot of Dunstanburgh Castle ruins. Jack Charlton drives out of the twin towered gatehouse onto the grassy headland.

Title: The Coast of King Jack

Various shots of Charlton wearing a deerstalker hat driving on a road beside the River Coquet, heading to Warkworth. Aerial view of the drive as he approaches a weir in the river. He comments on the nesting swans along the river as he drives. Travelling shot from his car as he approaches Warkworth, the castle rising above the village. Aerial views of the castle, which, Charlton comments, is mentioned in a few of Shakespeare’s plays.

Charlton walks over the cobbled Warkworth Old Bridge, now pedestrian only. He meets with a local policeman on the bridge. He asks if Warkworth is still a family village. The policeman says it is and lists the wonderful amenities such as a beach, boats on the river, nice country pubs. Charlton asks if there is any problem with poaching. The policeman relates a tale about the local lads diverting the local bobby with a pint in the pub so they could fish. Charlton and the policeman agree it’s a beautiful place to live. Charlton walks a path beside the River Coquet.

Charlton climbs down to a ‘fish path’ built to help the salmon upstream, run by Tony Champion, fisheries officer with the National Rivers Authority. The two walk across the weir chatting. Tony shows Jack the series of steps built to help salmon negotiate around the rather steep weir. They take a look at the ‘automatic fish counting device’, a wooden bridge contraption with a hidden camera flashgun, which takes their picture from above and side. This helps them distinguish between salmon and trout. A series of stills illustrates the photographs taken by the device. General view of the Coquet.

Aerial view of Charlton on the road again. He arrives up the coast in Craster. He points out the name of a fishing coble, ‘Brothers Joy’. He talks about his brother diving off the pier at Craster into the cold North Sea. Aerial view of Craster and its small harbour. General exterior view of L. Robson & Sons centuries old smokehouse where the world famous kippers are made. Inside, the production process is shown, starting with the herring splitter machine, a task once performed by the women who followed the herring shoals down the coast during the season. Charlton notes that, due to dwindling stocks of herring in the North Sea, they now come from the west coast of Scotland. The fish are soaked in brine before being hung on racks of tenter sticks (the origin of the expression 'on tenter hooks') to drip dry before the smoking. He chats to the group of women employees and has a go at the process himself, managing to prong his finger with a fish bone. The smoking using ash and oak chippings is shown. Charlton talks to Neil Robson about the family business, the historic process, and the quality of the kippers. Charlton says “I promised to send Brian Clough a box.”

General view of Seahouses quayside in the mist. Charlton chats to two fishermen who have two live lobster on their boat, not their usual catch. One of the fishermen, with a strong Northumbrian accent, explains how you can tell a male (“much bigger on the toes”) from a female lobster, and how they use their claws. General views of Seahouses, which Charlton says has become a bit commercialised over the years as it’s the starting point for trips to the Farnes. He plays football with some kids in the car park. He gets fish and chips, no longer in newspaper but in a plastic carton.

Travelling shot of an island from a boat. Charlton hops out of Billy Shiel’s Glad Tidings II coble and climbs the boardwalk onto the misty Inner Farne. Arctic terns are nesting on the ground. Charlton hoists his deerstalker hat on a stick so the defensive birds attack that rather than his head as he walks amongst their breeding grounds.  He walks on the island, birds swarming around and a huge colony seated on the grassy cliff edges. He interviews a man knowledgeable about the history of this bird sanctuary, who says there are 17 different species nesting on the Farnes. Various shots follow of different birds such as puffins, shags, kittiwakes, nesting on the cliffs.

Charlton is on the road again driving towards Bamburgh Castle, which has ‘seen more action in films than in real life’. Aerial view of the castle and sand dunes beyond. In Bamburgh he visits the Grace Darling National Memorial Museum. Charlton talks about what exhibits the museum holds, including the boat Grace Darling and her father rowed to Longstone Lighthouse to rescue shipwrecked sailors in a storm.

A group of men wrestle a newly built traditional Northumberland wooden boat named Widsith down to the sea to launch. It has been built by Professor Jim Nailer who lectures at Edinburgh University and whose father used to be the baker at Bamburgh. As he and his helpers walk the boat through the village to the sea, Professor Nailer explains his approach to building the boat as academic. He sees it as an example of the vernacular. The boat is named after an Old English poem, also known as The Traveller's Song, dating from about the 6th century. The boat is launched into the sea, cheered by a crowd of locals. Professor Nailer waves from the boat.

Aerial view of Charlton driving across the causeway to Lindisfarne passing the refuge tower. On the island, he hikes up to the Lindisfarne castle, originally a fort, and wanders onto the battery with a view over the Holy Island. General view of Lindisfarne Priory. Aerial view of Lindisfarne castle, once owned as a holiday home by Sir Edwin Lutyens, but in 1980 run by the National Trust. Charlton interviews Linda Lilburn at her home in Lindisfarne village, once housekeeper in the castle, and a member of one of the oldest island families. [Linda was the last Holy Island Lilburn and died in 2008.] She describes the hard work cleaning in the castle and cooking on the range. Shots of the kitchen range and brass pots follow. General exterior view of the castle. She says what she liked most was looking at the sea. It was like being on a ship, and she can't see the sea from her current home on the island.

Charlton drives back to the causeway from the island.

Credit: Camera Graham Brown Dave Dixon

Credit: Sound Bob Rhodes

Credit: Editor Howard Beebe

Credit: Executive Producer Leslie Barrett

Credit: Producer Vivienne Shlosberg

Credit: Director Alan Ravenscroft

Credit: Tyne Tees TV Colour © Trident Television Ltd. MCMLXXX