Film ID: NEFA 20743 Video of NEFA 20743 My River Tyne MY RIVER TYNE 1986 Visitor TabsDescription An animated film produced by Sheila Graber with music performed by Tom Gilfellon. The history of the River Tyne, from the source in Scotland to the mouth at South Shields, is pictured using pastel, paintings, drawings, personal photographs and documentary film footage. Title: My River Tyne. The film opens on a shot of flowing water. The film cuts to an animated snowy landscape which then turns into a sheep pen that is being watched over by a shepherd wearing tartan and holding a shepherds staff. The film changes to an animation small bird sitting on the edge of a river. A fish appears from the water and then appears in the mouth of the bird. The bird and the fish are transformed into a flowing waterfall. The waterfall fades to film of a rocky fast flowing river. The film cuts to an animation of a fish which fades to become trees in a wood. The trees are replaced by the animation of an owl sitting in a tree. The owl then transforms into a fox, a badger, a deer, a kestrel, and finally an otter. The otter fades to be replaced with an animation of a thistle and an orange flower. The flowers fade to a rural landscape onto which Hadrian’s Wall is drawn. The scene fades to a Roman solider and a Scot holding sword and shield. The Scot transforms into Newcastle Castle Keep and the Roman into a Pikeman from the English Civil War. The pikeman fades leaving Newcastle Keep standing on its own. The film cuts to film of the real Keep and Newcastle skyline followed by a panning shot of the High Level Bridge. The film fades to an artistic drawing of the Gateshead Quayside showing the Tyne Swing and High Level bridges. Water flows down the River Tyne under an unseen bridge. The film changes to an animation of a coal miner with a cigarette handing from his mouth. In the background can be seen a pit head. Coal wagons beside the pit transform into wagons on a coal staithe. At the same time the coal miner transforms into a 19th century sailor with animation of a sailing boat on the water and a busy quayside. The film changes to an animation of another 19th century sailor in a sailor suit holding a clay pipe. Boats on the river transform into a drawing of St Paul’s Church at Jarrow. The camera moves in toward a door on the church and transforms into a view of a stained glass window showing a figure, possibly the Venerable Bede. The stained glass fades into a historic picture of a saintly figure followed by pages for a historical Latin text. The sequence ends on animation of wooden posts possibly in water. The film changes to a view of a shipyard filmed from a window. The film fades into animation, drawings and paintings of shipyard cranes and ships. The film cuts back to the animation of the 19th century sailor with pipe who changes into a shipyard worker. Film footage of a large crane in a shipyard fades into a painting of a shipyard with cranes and a bridge. The painting changes to a drawing showing the Old High Light and New Low Light lighthouses as well as the fish quay at North Shields. The drawing fades to a painting of the river and skyline at night. The animation of the shipyard worker transforms into a fisherwoman with wicker basket on her back. The fisherwoman fades away to be replaced by film of a mural painted on the side of a wall showing activity at the North Shields Fish Quay. The camera pans left to show a second mural painted on another wall. There is a view of this second mural showing a fishing boat in a stormy sea. The mural fades into a view of a lifeboat with the camera focusing in on a painted mural on the bow of the boat. The film cuts to view of the seashore with waves gently splashing over rocks. This fades to drawings of a rocky shore followed by a drawing of a large sailing ship moored along a quayside. The picture fades to be replaced by a black and white photograph of pilot ship on the river Tyne near Tynemouth. The photograph fades and is replaced by a photograph of a group of sailors on the deck of a ship. This photograph fades to be replaced by photograph of a woman holding a small child. This third photograph fades to show a view of the mouth of the River Tyne from South Shields looking out to sea past the Tynemouth and South Shields piers. The film cuts to another view of the mouth of the river filmed from beside the lighthouse on Groyne Pier in South Shields. The film ends as a small fishing boat heads out to sea with water gently flowing. End Credit: Musical Advisor Tom Gilfellon End Credit: Directed by Sheila Graber. Context An animated tale of the River Tyne An unusual mix of pastel, photos, film and line drawings conjures a story of the River Tyne, from its source at the Scottish border to its mouth at South Shields. An eclectic mix of documentary footage, photographs and original artwork combine to tell a stirring story of the River Tyne as it flows from the Scottish borders into the North Sea at South Shields. Celebrated animator Sheila Graber weaves together industrial history – shipyards, coal staithes, colliers, docks and fish quays - with fragments from a childhood as the daughter of a Tyne Pilot Master. An independent short by Graber, My River Tyne is one of several animations that draw on her Geordie background. It is imbued with memories of a father, Captain GW Graber, who commanded the Tyne pilots that negotiated tides, channels and currents to guide ships on the river between 1948 and 1964. The film now serves as an elegy for the lost industrial culture on Tyneside. This was the first time the artist experimented with a combination of 16mm live action footage and animation, a hugely complex process without the aid of computers. The animation was part of a programme of work that won a coveted Tyneside Cinema’s Tyne Award.