Film ID: YFA 2787 Video of YFA_2787 North Landing, Flamborough NORTH LANDING, FLAMBOROUGH 1933 Visitor TabsDescription This is a film which includes footage of the fishing boats around the coastal area of Flamborough Head, the fishermen and their daily catch, and the climmers collecting birds eggs from the Bempton cliffs. The film begins with shots of Flamborough Cliffs. Fishermen drag boats up the steep, cobbled beech. They take their catch from the boats and unload the fish onto the beach, laying them out to dry. The men then push the boats back into the water to continue fishing. Donkeys are used to transport the fish which fill baskets strapped to the donkey. They continue to unload the fish from the boats and lay them out on the beach to dry out on the steep incline of the North Landing. All the fishermen are dressed in traditional oilskins. Next, the climmers are at the top of Bempton Cliffs. (There were four men in an egg gathering gang, one suspended by the rope, who climbed down to collect the eggs, signalling by a handline and using his feet to keep himself from the cliff face and three at the top. It was on these three men, and the strength of the rope, that the climber depended. Of course the rope was carefully examined each time, but the cliff's razor sharp flints could fray it, and lumps of loose chalk or flint, knocked out of place by startled birds, could fall and hit the climber, so that most of them wore thick head coverings.) There are shots of the climmers being pulled up the cliff, and close up shots of the crowds gathered to watch the egg gathering. The climmers are dressed in metal helmets and climbing gear. Once they bring up a batch of eggs, the crowd quickly gathers around to see the eggs. Many of them are dressed in fur coats and hats. The climmers make yet another decent, and there is a shot of the cliffs around which many birds fly. The crowd examines the eggs in the basket, and the film ends with a man hanging from a rope climbing down from the top of the cliff. Context Having risked the hazards of the North Sea in small rowing boats, fishermen also risk their necks abseiling down the 350ft cliffs of Bempton. This wonderful film from 1933, taken by local fish merchant George Bayes, shows fishermen landing their catch of cod and crabs on the North Landing at Flamborough and the ‘climmers’ collecting eggs from Bempton Cliffs. Grizzled fishermen, each arriving within their own coble, lay out their catch to dry, and pack baskets for the donkeys to cart up the steep incline to the top. Some then go collecting bird’s eggs from the cliffs, with one man suspended by a rope around the waist. There were, at least, four generations of George Bayes’, three of them fish merchants. This film was presumably taken by George William Bayes (b 1884, d 1960), who played cricket for Yorkshire between 1910 and 1921. His son also took films of the lifeboat, on the South Landing, for which he sounded the alarm. ‘Climming’ or ‘Scoot-egging’ goes back to the 16th century, and was eventually banned in 1954. Most of the eggs were from the guillemot, razorbill and kittiwake nests, puffin eggs being difficult to get to. They would sell the (rather fishy tasting!) eggs at the top for threepence each, the rarer eggs being sold to collectors. The albumen in the egg whites was used by tanners and shoemakers to polish leather.