Film ID:
NEFA 22175

A WORLD FOR JAMES COOK

1970s

Visitor Tabs

Description

An amateur travelogue by Peter Dobing and George Theaker takes us on the trail of British explorer Captain James Cook's early life and career in Yorkshire, taking in Marton, Easby Moor in the Cleveland Hills, Staithes, Wheeldale Moor, and Whitby.

The opening view shows the houses that hug the hillside going down towards the harbour at Staithes.

Credit: Peter Dobing and George Theaker present

Title: A World For James Cook

The film opens with a shot of a totem pole outside the Captain Cook museum at Stewart Park in Marton, Middlesbrough. A still follows of an illustration of the small cottage where James Cook was born, followed by a painted portrait of James Cook.

General exterior view of the entrance to the Captain Cook museum, and ornamental flower beds nearby. An old anchor is placed as a feature in one of the flower beds near the museum entrance.

At Great Ayton in North Yorkshire, a young boy looks down from a bridge over the river Leven. A duck swims by near the riverbank. General view of the schoolhouse in Great Ayton, which James Cook attended. A stone above the entrance has carved into it the following: 'Michael Postgate Built This School In The Year 1704 Rebuilt 17..(figures weathered away).

General view of Roseberry Topping. Two young men eat sandwiches while enjoying the view.

On the Eston Hills, with views of heavy industry below, a young man prepares to fly a model glider.

In Great Ayton village, the site of a former dwelling belonging to James Cook is marked by an obelisk, a replica of the one that stands at Point Hicks Australia. A plaque on the obelisk reads; 'Lieutenant James Cook RN of the Endeavour First Sighted Australia Near This Point Which He Named Point Hicks After Lieutenant Zachary Hicks Who First Saw The Land April 19th (Ship's Log Date), April 20th (Calendar Date), 1770'. Another plaque describes it marking the site of Cook's Cottage, and its removal in 1934, to be rebuilt in Australia. An old photograph shows the deconstruction of the cottage.

In Great Ayton churchyard there are the graves of Cook's brothers and his mother Grace.

Still of early photograph of Staithes village, and the same view filmed. The commentary describes James Cook as a 17 year old finding work in Staithes in a grocery store, the foundations of which can be seen at low tide.

A general view shows the cliffs across the harbour, another view shows the tiled roofs of Staithes.

A view out to sea shows a few people swimming and a rowing boat just beyond Staithes harbour entrance. A fishing boat approaches the harbour entrance, with seagulls flying above it. A longer view shows the houses and buildings of the village perched on the valley sides below, and the harbour entrance in the distance. Further out to sea an oil tanker goes past, possibly heading to Teesside.

The film cuts to an information board describing Wheeldale Moor Roman Road. The commentary states that James Cook often walked the Roman Road. The film shows it stretching across Wheeldale Moor.

A steam approaches the station at Goathland. Passengers board the train.

Two people carrying umbrellas walk through the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey. General views show the structure of the building.

A view of the White Horse at Kilburn follows, carved by pupils of Kilburn school in 1857.

The film cuts to a view from the top of a cliff at Port Mulgrave, once a smugglers cove but now used by small boats for fishing. A view follows of the bricked up entrance of a tunnel, which brought iron ore from the mines down to the harbour for shipment. Water running down the cliffs is stained with iron. General views show some of the rocks near the cliff stained red, as is the water running off into the sea.

A small fishing boat makes its way back to harbour, a tractor waiting to tow it back up the beach. The boat is hauled onto a small trailer behind the tractor. A brief view shows fish caught now lying in a wooden box.

Next a view of the buildings of Whitby crowding in above the harbour, which cuts to a view of the famous whalebone arch. An information board gives a brief history of whaling at Whitby.

A group of boys above the harbour  throw scraps for seagulls. Other seagulls forage in the muddy waters below amongst the boats moored at the quayside. A small notice placed on the pavement reads 'Apply Here For Kippers'. Smoke plumes come from a nearby fish smoking shed belonging to Fortunes, specialising in Whitby kippers. A couple leave the shop with their purchases. The Fortunes shop sign is pictured then a street sign for Grape Lane. A wall plaque displays the age of a house as built in the year 1688. It is the house Captain Cook was living in as a 19 year old apprentice. The camera points up towards windows on the gable end of the house where the young James Cook had a study.

An old still photograph shows a sailing ship in the harbour. A picture follows of the Endeavour, the ship Captain Cook sailed to explore the reputed land that lay to the east of New Zealand. A statue of Cook stands in Whitby.

General views follow of visitors to Whitby climbing the famous steps up to the abbey, then the stone piers at the harbour entrance. A small boat passes the lighthouse on one of the piers. A brief notice warns of danger from heavy seas. Three men wade out into the sea to salvage an upturned boat.

A little girl points up in the air, presumably in awe of the height of Cooks monument on Easby moor, above Great Ayton. Roseberry Topping looms in the background. Some sightseers sit at the monument's base next to some protective railings. A tablet on the monument celebrates his achievements.

The film cuts back to his statue in Whitby. General views show sea waves, whilst the commentary outlines his exploits as a naval captain and explorer.

The next sequence references slavery. A still portrait of ex-pirate William Dampier, the first Englishman to explore Australia, is followed by another portrait of Captain Cook. Then an old photograph showing aborigines in chains, while a white man  looks on. Another photo shows a white man attacking an aborigine. Another picture which ends the film shows Captain Cook being attacked by Hawaiian islanders in 1779.

Credit: A film by Peter Dobing & George Theaker