Film ID:
NEFA 22197

THE FARNES

1930s

Visitor Tabs

Description

Amateur film of a cruise to the Farne Islands from Seahouses featuring Elsie Adelaine Richardson (future wife of the filmmaker), shot by James Dudfield Rose with intertitles by Elsie. Includes some footage of Souter Lighthouse and lobster fishermen at Seahouses.

Title: The Farnes

Title: The Farnes are a group of islands off the Northumbrian coast.

Title: Three miles out from Seahouses harbour.

The film opens with general views of Seahouses harbour. Boatmen and other local men are relaxing at the harbour. Some men in a coble row into the harbour and one of them hops into a fishing boat moored there. A fisherman is sewing up the claws of a lobster. Fishermen are on their boats in the harbour.

Title: “Stop me if you have heard it …”

Fishermen chat together on a boat, one smoking a pipe. Elsie Richardson races down the steps in Seahouses harbour to board the boat offering cruises to the Farne Islands. She waits for her parents, her mother, Sally Richardson, carrying her fur coat. The mother is helped into the coble 'Glad Tidings' by the boatman, possibly Jack Shiel or his brother. Other people get into the boat.

Travelling shots follow from the boat as it leaves the harbour of the lobster fisherman on their boat, and of people watching them leave from the harbour quayside.

Title: Seals play round a rock near the Longstone lighthouse.

More travelling shots from the boat trip of island rocks and of Longstone lighthouse.

Title: Landing on the Farne.

The boat arrives at Inner Farne. The group walk up the hill from the boat landing as the two boatmen tie up the boat.

Title: St Cuthbert’s chapel

Elsie walks into St Cuthbert’s chapel built in 1370. She then climbs the pele tower and takes in the view, including Farne lighthouse.

Title: Sand Terns

Elsie is menaced by a sand tern. Jack Shiel picks up a chick from the beach. Close-up of Elsie holding the baby sand tern, struggling to get out of her hand. General view of the nests of sand terns on the sandy beach.

Title: An Eider duck

Close-up of an Eider duck on a nest in the ferns.

Title: The Pinnacles

Shot of birds on the ‘Pinnacles’ on Inner Farne cliff faces.

Title: The Puffins

Various shots of puffins on the rocks follow.

Title: Black backed gull’s egg

Close-up of a single bird’s egg in a nest, followed by shots of the pinnacles crammed with birds.

Title: The Guillemots’ housing problem

A closer look at the top of one of the pinnacles, overcrowded with guillemots.

Title: Kittiwake gulls and chicks

Kittiwakes and their chicks snuggle on a cliff face.

Title: Unearthing a young puffin

Jack Shiels (or his brother) pulls out a puffin chick from a puffin burrow. Close-ups as Elsie holds the scared furry chick.  General views of the birds flying at the island and of Cuthbert’s chapel and the medieval pele tower.

Title: A marauder’s warning

A dead seagull is strung on a pole near an island beach.

The visitors on the trip make their way back down to two boats, helped on by boatmen. Portrait shot of Jack Shiel at the rudder of the boat, heading back to Seahouses.

Title: David

Two men pull away from the island in a smaller boat, one rowing. Travelling shots follow of leaving Inner Farne, and arriving back at Seahouses harbour. Other boats are heading out to the Farnes. People still stand on the quayside watching boats coming and going. The trippers leave the boat and climb the steps to the quayside.

[Note: Sally Richardson was a former nursing sister at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne.]