Film ID: YFA 5632 Video of YFA_5632 Carry on Smoking CARRY ON SMOKING 1975 Visitor TabsDescription 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 Context From smoking a pipe to smoking a fish, a war veteran joins forces with a fisherman to help bring smoked trout and salmon onto Scottish plates. Gerry Dimmock, a pipe smoking veteran of the Battle of Arnhem, lends a helping hand to pull a net across the River Dee in Kirkcudbrightshire to catch salmon. His accomplice, fishmonger James McDavid, then fillets the catch and hangs them up, along with some trout, to be smoked. It’s the mid-1970s, and Bingley amateur filmmaker Eric Hall is on holiday, and on hand, to film the entire process from start to finish with his usual care for detail. Eric Hall, one time Chairman of the NE Region of the IAC and President of the Bradford Cine Circle, specialised in documentary type films. On this occasion he captures a fishing practice which may now be obsolete: using nets to catch salmon (doachs, ladle, shoulder or draught nets?). In any case, with fewer salmon returning, and more salmon farms, it may have run its course. It isn’t known what happened to the business of James McDavid, but it is known that Gerry Dimmock died in 2015, aged 94. Part of the Parachute Regiment's 10th Battalion that parachuted in near Arnhem, under heavy German ground fire, he was one of only 30 men from the Battalion to escape, although injured, by swimming across the River Rhine.