Film ID: YFA 5821 Video of YFA_5821 The Sting 1987 CLEGG'S PEOPLE: THE STING 1987 Visitor TabsDescription Michael Clegg visits Bridlington to investigate the dangers of the stinging weeverfish. He talks to people on the beach, a local doctor and nurse, and Dr David Lewis of Hull University who explains, with examples, many of the marine creatures, dangerous, and not so dangerous. The film begins with Michael Clegg paddling along the beach at Bridlington, stating that the beach is one of the cleanest in Britain, and indicating some of the sea life that is there, including a seal. There are other people on the beach, a dog running into the sea and children playing. Clegg talks about the dangers of standing, bare foot, on a weeverfish, which he shows to the camera. He explains that they have spikes, or stings, on their back which emit a poison which is very painful and causes swelling. He asks people on the beach whether they have heard of the weeverfish, and most say not, except for a girl. Another group tell of their experiences of being stung by one. Walking along the seafront, Clegg talks with Dr Des Lucie who states that the local hospital deals with about 30 to 50 cases of people being stung by a weeverfish each year. He explains that it is very painful and we see a picture of a man with a swollen face after being stung by one. Clegg then walks along the promenade to a first aid post, where a nurse, Lynn Arnold, is treating a small girl with a cut toe. Clegg questions the nurse about her experience of dealing with people with weever stings. Dr David Lewis of Hull University is wading in the sea, dragging a net to collect the marine life. Clegg watches as he drags the net onto the beach, and together they empty the contents of the net onto the sand, including small plaice, shrimps, a small crab, and a weeverfish. Dr David Lewis talks about each of these creatures in turn, and shows how they bury themselves in the sand so that they cannot be seen, watched by a group of children. He shows a ragworm doing this. They then walk along Bridlington harbour where they examine two enormous lobsters taken out of a tank, both with taped-up claws, and then a weeverfish. Dr Lewis talks about the fish, how the poisonous spines work, and how to treat a sting, using heat, usually with hot water. They then enter the Harbour Museum and Aquarium. Here they look at the various fish in the tanks, with Dr Lewis identifying them and talking about their characteristics, including plaice, brill, Dover sole, wrass, cod, coalfish, grey mullet, grey gurnard, woof or catfish. Dr Lewis shows Clegg a skull of a woof. Clegg throws lugworms into the tank for the fish to eat. There are angler fish in a separate tank. The documentary ends with Clegg and Dr Lewis placing a weeverfish onto the beach, and watch as it buries itself into the sand. Camera – Charles B. Wilson Sound – Barrie Box Editor – John Leeds Dubbing mixer – Terry Cavagin Director – Charlie Flynn Production Assistant – Doreen Killon Graphics – Paul Peppiate, Tony Sharpe Senior editor – David Lowen Executive Producer – Graham Ironside Producer - Marylyn Webb Presenter - MICHAEL CLEGG Context A warning to those who paddle barefoot along the beaches of Britain: beware of small fish lurking hidden in the sand awaiting the unsuspecting. Michael Clegg visits Bridlington to get the lowdown on that most low down of fish, the lesser weever, the country’s most poisonous fish. Clegg shows his usual knack for bonding with all living creatures, whether its families enjoying the sunshine on Bridlington beach or giant lobsters. And as usual he chats with experts in the field, and on this occasion it’s to a local doctor and nurse who treat the many victims of the weever’s sting, and the marine biologist, Dr David Lewis of Hull. Michael Clegg ran his series for Yorkshire Television throughout the 1980s. Clegg was a naturalist and a regular on BBC Radio 4's Natural History Programme. Born near Barnsley, Clegg was an early campaigner for wildlife sites. The sting from a little weever fish can cause severe reactions, such as abnormal heart rhythms, paralysis, shortness of breath, seizures, and even sometimes passing out (very rarely, even death, with the very young or very old.) Weever fish continue to catch beach lovers unawares, and warnings are continually put out for this, especially as the fish have been on the increase in recent years. Marine experts suspect that this may be because of warmer sea temperatures.