Film ID:
YFA 5632

CARRY ON SMOKING

1975

Visitor Tabs

Description

This film, shot around Kirkcudbridghtshire in south-west Scotland, follows fisherman James McDavid as he catches and smokes fish from the River Dee.

Title – Carry on Smoking – Produced by J. Eric Hall

The film begins with cars driving down a country road and a woman with a camera observing the landscape. A waterfall and a river are seen, with rowing boats bobbing in the water.

In a small high street, a smiling man and woman address the camera. An older man smoking a pipe, who the commentary identifies as ex-Paratrooper Jerry Dimmock, enters the doorway of J. McDavid and Sons in Castle Douglas.

A metal sign reads ‘Spittal’.

Men in yellow waterproof shorts and jackets leave a fisherman’s hut and go down to the river, where they board a small fishing boat laden with nets. The commentary introduces them as James McDavid and his son, and notes that McDavid senior has 50 years’ experience fishing in the River Dee. During the season they fish twice per day (or night, according to the tides).

The men tip the nets into the river, and as one paddles the boat away, the others drag the nets out into the water. They are then seen returning to shore, carrying one large fish.

A sign advertises salmon and smoked trout for sale. A man enters a small building with two large fish. Inside are ice boxes full of more fish. A man in a white smock takes one and cleans it on a wooden bench. He removes the head and skin, guts the fish, and attaches a loop of string to one end. He lays this on a bench with several others and packs them between layers of salt.

A hand holds up a jar filled with the eggs of hen salmon, and then one with very small ‘fry’. A woman looks around the different tanks at a nearby fish farm.

At the smokehouse, fish are washed and then hung in rows from metal rods to be smoked. A man shovels wood chippings into a metal drawer, which is then pushed into a slot in the smoking over. Space is left at the front of each drawer to allow the wood to smoulder when lit. Outside, smoke rises from the chimney. Salt is washed off the salmon and they are placed in the smoker.

The man with the pipe, Jerry Dimmock, shows his fish knife, and the film closes with a shot of the smoking chimney.

Title – The End