Film ID:
NEFA 20539



Visitor Tabs


An account of the wreck of the Greek ship Adelfotis II, on Hearn Sands, South Shields in 1963. The film, shot by Tyne pilot Captain G.W. Purvis, is a poetic document of the harsh winter, the busy River Tyne, the storm which saw the wrecking of the Adelfotis II - as well as its dismantling, and the arrival of spring.

The film begins with a view of a tanker ship navigating the River Tyne. The riverbank is dense with industrial development: cranes and chimneys. Close-up of the ship's funnel and stern as it makes its way towards the sea. Brief shot of a tug boat navigating on the river.

Brief panning shot of an indoor Christmas tree, decorated with lights and baubles.

Views of a snowy landscape. Birds feed on the snowy ground.

View of South Shields lighthouse.

A rough sea smashes into concrete sea defences. In the background, a lighthouse is visible.

Title (text over a drawing or painting of the ship, the Adelfotis II crashing through the waves): THE WAYWARD WIND 1963.

Title (text over a drawing or painting of the ship, the Adelfotis II): IN THE YEAR 1963 THE BRITISH ISLES ENDURED ABNORMAL SNOW & GALES.

View of sea birds flying. Views of wintery land- and townscapes.

Brief travelling shot, by car, along a snow-covered road. Children play on sledges, sliding down a snow-whitened road. As the car travels slowly, traveling views of the high heaps of snow either side of the road. View of the front of the car, registration: BTY 815B.

Views of Marsden Rock and the seashore.

Title (text over a drawing or painting of the ship, the Adelfotis II crashing through the waves): THE STORM ADELFOTIS WRECKED JAN. 20th 1963.

Views of huge waves crashing over the wrecked body of the ship, Adelfotis II, which lies on Herd Sands, part of the beach at South Shields. View of another commercial ship entering the River Tyne, and lowering a rope ladder.

Views of heavy seas crashing into concrete sea defences.

View of the wrecked Adelfotis II, leaning heavily. View, filmed at low tide, of the shipwreck on the beach. The sun is low in the sky and lights the monolithic hulk dramatically. Close-up of the bow of the ship, and its name painted on the side. A woman (perhaps the filmmakers wife) wearing a fur coat stands on a lawn nearby the wreck.

View of the freezing River Tyne and ships docked along the side of the river, chunks of ice float in the water. Ice flows along the river. Sheets of ice obstruct the slipway of a lifeboat station.

Views of a sunset over the industrial riverside surrounding Bergen Quay on the Tyne.

Close-up of snow-covered ground.

Views of spring flowers: daffodils.

A woman wearing a fur coat walks alongside a fence in a field surrounded by the moorland and hills of Tynedale, around Simonburn in Northumberland. Woolly sheep gather in the adjacent field. The woman tosses some food through the fence. Panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, the hills topped with a light covering of snow.

Views of ewes and lambs.

The filmmaker and his wife film portraits of each other beside a river surrounded by rural upland. Their car is parked nearby on a single carriageway road.

Panoramic and travelling views of rural countryside: a red fire engine passes by; sheep, moorland; calves.

Sporting views of a ladies' bowling tournament.

Views of the hull of the Adelfotis II ship being dismantled. On the side of the ship, the graffito, "FREEDOM FROM HUNGER".

The film ends with a view of another cargo or tanker ship entering the Tyne and passing beneath Tynemouth Priory and castle.