Film ID: NEFA 10854 Video of NEFA 10854 A Kind of Heaven A KIND OF HEAVEN 1964 Visitor TabsDescription A Tyne Tees Television documentary on the masculine love of angling. 4 million men in Britain see angling as 'a kind of heaven'. The film looks at the many different types of angling available and how men become interested in the sport. The film also looks at some of the industries surrounding fishing such as the manufacture of fishing rods at Hardys of Alnwick, and also how pollution and industrial development are affecting fish stocks. The film opens on a view of a rainy rural riverbank. Title: TTTV Presents Standing in the middle of the river is a man fishing. ‘For four million Englishmen’ says the narrator ‘angling is…’ Title: A Kind of Heaven Along the banks of a river at night sitting quietly beside his rod is a second man with a pipe in his mouth. The film cuts to show a large wave crashing against a seawall. A bearded man casts his rod into the ocean. The film cuts to views of a football match. Crowds in the stands cheer on as the ball is kicked up and down the pitch. At Seaton Sluice a man fishes in Seaton Burn. He collects his gear and makes his way back to the top of the cliffs walking across a footbridge towards The Kings Arms public house. Leaving his rod at the door he goes inside. Standing at the bar a number of other anglers chat about their catches. One of the men removes an artificial fly from his pullover and shows it to his friends. The film cuts to view of a set of traffic lights. Cars and a bus travel along a busy Newcastle street. At the Swing Bridge a number of cars are parked up waiting for the bridge to open. In his car a man looks at his watch impatiently. The film fades to a tranquil river scene where a man stands in the water angling. On the riverbank a dog sits patiently. The angler removes his fly from the water and examines it. The film cuts to a view of the outside of small cottage on a rainy day. Inside an old man sits in an armchair with his feet up by the kitchen fire. In his hand is a lure which he is working with a tool. A group of four boys walk along a rocky shoreline; in the background can be seen a number of houses. At North Shields Fish Quay a man helps a young boy cast his line into the harbour. Along a shoreline the young boys and a number of men are seen casting lines into the sea. A number of casts are filmed in slow-motion. The film cuts to a night scene and anglers sitting around small fires smoking or drinking from thermos flasks. There are views of a number of fish caught by the men including Cod and White Fish. The film cuts to Bernard Venables, the ‘philosopher and poet of angling’, sitting in a chair by a fire with a pipe in his mouth and a book in his lap. He looks up and talks to camera about what he believe angling is all about and how a ‘young boy’ becomes interested in the pastime. As he continues to speak the film fades to a small boy walking along a riverbank. He sees an angler in the river and comes down to the shoreline to watch him fish. The film cuts to a street and the boy looking in the window of a fishing tackle shop. Inside an older man with glasses examines a rod. The boy comes into the shop and looks at a glass display case containing various fishing flies for sale. There is a view of a number of reels on a shelf. The boy looks over a number of rods that are stacked in a row. The man purchases an expensive rod and outfit from the shopkeeper while standing beside him the boy holds a cheaper rod and reel. With their purchases the boy and the man walk out of the shop together but head off in different directions. The film cuts to a view of a printing press. A number of angling publications are shown including ‘Fishing Tackle Dealer’, ‘Trout & Salmon’ and ‘Stream and Fishing’. The film cuts to a view of Alnwick Castle from the far bank of the river Aln. The camera pans left to right showing a lorry crossing a stone bridge. There is a view of a stone lion at Alnwick Castle. A Morris Minor car drives along an Alnwick Road. There is a general view of the exterior of the Hardy Brothers fishing rod factory. Inside the factory there are general views of the workshops where men turn and shape fishing rods. Seated at their benches a number of women glue metal rings to the rods. In another room a man polishes a cane; all around him are barrels full of various types of bamboo canes currently being seasoned. Back inside the main workshop a man stands at a workbench winding line into a reel. Another group of women work to create flies. The film cuts to a maggot farm where flies fly around a glass window. A man brings in a barrel of rotting meat and places it beside a number of others. There are views of rotting meat in which the flies will lay eggs which produce the maggots which will become fishing bait. Over a wooden tray a man shovels a mass of maggots. In a bed of the sawdust the maggots are cleaned ready for sale. Beside a river a man throws a handful of maggots into the water to attract the fish. He attaches another to the end of his line. He is seen catching a fish and reeling it in. The film cuts to show a man in oilskins walking down a set of stone steps from the quayside above. A man in a rowing boat comes alongside and the angler with his fishing equipment gets into the boat. They row out to sea where the angler is seen sea angling. The film cuts to show a game angler walking slowly up a small stream carrying a long rod. Standing in the middle of a river the man is seen fishing. The film cuts to angler and magistrate Sir John Craster who is sitting on the banks of a river. He talks about coarse fishing. The film cuts to a night scene and a poacher, with his face covered, walking up a shallow river. He is carrying a short pole with a hook at the end of it. He is shown using the hook to catch fish which he hits over the head and throws onto the riverbank. He places the fish into a sack and quietly walks away. The film cuts to a man, a representative of one of the twenty seven river authorities, walking through a snowy rural landscape beside a fast moving stream. He comes to a weir where a second man is seen in the water making his way slowly towards the riverbank where the first man is standing on a wall above. The first man helps the second out of the water and they both walk away together. At a fish farm two men stands in a shallow weir. One of the men picks up a female sea trout from a large net full of other Trout and hands it up to a man who is standing on a concrete platform above. He examines the Trout and squeezes her eggs into a plastic bowl. The man is given a male Trout and he is seen squeezing the sperm to fertilise the eggs. Using his hand he mixes the mixture and adds some river water. At another weir five men are seen helping to clear winter debris. On the riverbank three men pull on a rope which is attached to a piece of wood blocking the weir. A fourth man is standing over it helping to un-lodge it while the fifth man stands above overseeing the operation. The film cuts to views inside a steel works. Molten steel sparks as it is poured from ladles. Men stand around watching. The film cuts to the banks of a river in the Midlands where a number of anglers are competing against each other. Looking down onto the River Tweed in Northumberland the camera pans right to left down a valley to show a rural landscape. In the river a man and dog in a rowing boat come alongside while above a car comes to a stop along the riverbank. The man in the car gets and out is greeted by the man in the boat. They both go to the back of the car where they unpack and prepare for a day’s angling. In the boat the driver of the car is seen fishing for salmon while the other man steers the boat. The film cuts to Broomhill Street in Amble where John McIntosh comes out of his bungalow carrying his angling gear. He gets onto a bicycle and pedals away past children playing and a woman pushing a pushchair. At North Shields Fish Quay the man stands with a small group of people watching a catch of fish being unloaded from a trawler onto the quayside. The man is seen riding his bicycle along a road that runs parallel to the river Tweed. He stops and looks at the river. The film changes to show a water treatment works. Water runs out of a number of outlets into the river. Looking down from a stone bridge [possibly at Corbridge] the river below is almost dried up with rocks clearly seen. The film cuts to a view of the Swing Bridge at Newcastle seen from a boat passing through it. Debris can be seen polluting the river Tyne. From a boat travelling along the river there is a view of the Dunston B Power Station and two large cranes built on the quayside. The film cuts to a rural scene and views of female salmon jumping up a weir. Along a riverbank a dragline excavator scoops up a section of gravel bed possibly being used by salmon for spawning. It dumps the gravel into the back of a lorry. General views of an angler walking along a woodland path. Along a river bank the man is seen fishing. He gets a bite on the line and is seen fighting with the fish as he tries to reel it in. The film cuts to another fisherman seen from a far bank using a short hooked pole to pull the caught fish from the water watched over by a number of other men on the banks above The film ends with a view of the angler quietly fishing. End Credit: Narrated by Anthony Brown End Credit: Written by Frank Entwisle End Credit: Sound Recordist Ray Hole End Credit: Filmed by Fred Thomas A.R.P.S. End Credit: Directed and edited by Peter Dunbar End Credit: Produced by Leslie Barrett End Credit: TTT Features Production Context A poetics of fishing in the Land of Three Rivers “A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end, and a fool at the other.” This irresistible film sets out to prove the (misquoted) Samuel Johnson wrong with a wonderful blend of poetic narration and travelogue – along the scenic Tweed, Wear, and Tyne Rivers, and on the North Sea coast. Packed with intriguing fishermen’s tales, including an interview with the charismatic philosopher of angling, Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing comic strip creator Bernard Venables, this film is a kind of heaven for anglers and lovers of classic TV documentaries. A jewel in Tyne Tees Television programming, this documentary is beautifully scripted by Frank Entwisle and spoken by old school ITN newsreader, Antony Brown. At a meditative pace, the film celebrates a pastime practised as a mystical art, but deftly weaves environmental, economic, and class issues into the mix. The (masculine) idyll is riddled with privilege. We hear the words of magistrate Sir John Craster, aristocrat and High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1944, and a poacher who recounts his story in the dead of night.