Film ID: NEFA 16422 Video of NEFA 16422 Newsview Young World 29 Oct 1964 - Day in the Life of a River Pilot NEWSVIEW YOUNG WORLD: DAY IN THE LIFE OF A RIVER PILOT 1964 Visitor TabsDescription A Tyne Tees Television news report, part of the Young World series, that looks at the world of work in the port of Tyne. The film features a young man as a member of the crew on a river pilot’s boat and a student of sea navigation at South Shield Marine and Technical College. This item was originally broadcast on 29 October 1964. The film opens with a view of a ship heading out to sea. On the stern is its name ‘Lena’ which is a River Tyne pilot boat. A young man comes out of the pilot boat’s cabin. Inside the cabin a man in checked shirt and woollen hat steers the vessel. They come alongside another ship and the young man throws a rope across and secures it on small metal posts on deck. The film cuts to two men cleaning and polishing port holes on the pilot boats superstructure. The film cuts to an exterior shot of the South Shields Marine and Technical College, the name appearing on the external wall of a modern building, the extent of which is revealed as the camera pans quickly to the right. Inside students draw on and calculate distances on maps. One student, the young man seen previously on the pilot boat, uses measuring devices and dividers to plot a course on a map. General views show other students at work at their desks. The film cuts to another building on which is written in large letters ‘Pilot Office’. In the building a young man writes something on a duplicating machine. Another man stands nearby behind a barrier. As he waits for the young man to finish writing, he leafs through a document. A notice board displays a number of messages on pieces of paper, one refers to the movement of shipping on the Tyne. The young man seen writing earlier adds another notice to the board. He then picks up the microphone of a radio telephone unit and speaks into it. From the bridge of a small ship a man in uniform walks down steps and crosses onto the deck of the pilot boat. A tracking shot follows as the pilot boat goes past a lighthouse on one of the piers at the mouth of the Tyne. They travel past a marker buoy floating in the sea on which a seagull is perched. The wash from the bow disturbs the buoy and the seagull. The film cuts to two other pilot vessels (?) moored to a jetty. On board one of the boats, the young man seen earlier, gathers in a rope with a loop at one end. He leaves it on deck, next a close up shot of the stern of the pilot boat as it moves off. A man wearing an official looking peaked cap, speaks to an interviewer off camera (mute). On board the pilot vessel a view of the wheelhouse and in the distance the entrance to the Tyne. On the bridge the young man takes the wheel of the boat. A man in jumper and woollen hat comes to speak with him. A travelling shot shows the light house on one of the Tyne piers as it passes by. The camera takes a shot from the bridge looking towards the prow of the boat, a ship in the distance. A closer shot of the ship reveals it may be a cargo ship. A brief shot follows of a flag flying from the top of a mast. The officer seen earlier with the peaked cap, climbs up a rope ladder onto the ship while the pilot boat is alongside. A rear view of the ship reveals the name ‘Battersea – London’ as it moves away from the camera. A view from the pilot boat as it follows the ship creating wash from its bow. Another shot follows of the pilot boat as it moves away from the jetty seen earlier, shots of wash from the rear of the boat. The pilot jumps from the ship ‘Lena’ seen at the beginning of the film, back on to the pilot boat. Lena moves away from the camera as the film ends. Context A novice in winklepickers learns the ropes as a Tyne river pilot apprentice in the 1960s. A young apprentice learns his craft as an understudy pilot on the River Tyne in the 1960s. Keeping the cutter shipshape, crewing pilot launches, negotiating the tides, channels and currents of a troublesome river, and attending the South Shields Marine College (the first in the world) to learn age-old navigational skills (pre-GPS) are all part of a maritime vocation, traditionally passed down from father to son amongst Shields clans. Tyne Tees TV’s Young World was a magazine addition to the North East Newsview, which broadcast stories on inspirational young people. This episode (the sound track unfortunately missing) focuses on a trainee river pilot who has dressed up for his TV debut in rocker wear of drainpipe jeans and winklepicker shoes, favoured by The Beatles in the early days. It’s a plus that the crew member at the wheel is also a dead ringer for Hank Marvin of instrumental beat group The Shadows. Bygone generations of Shields pilots, aristocracy of the river workers, were also dandy dressers, favouring distinctive stove pipe hats and frock coats when afloat.