Film ID: NEFA 20929 Video of NEFA 20929 Your Heritage - The River Wear YOUR HERITAGE: THE RIVER WEAR 1962 Visitor TabsDescription The second of three Tyne Tees Television documentaries about the three main rivers of the north east presented by Mike Neville. This film looking at the River Wear, begins in the upper reaches of Weardale and follows Mike as he travels downstream. On his journey he visits the villages of St Johns Chapel, Witton-le-Wear and Escomb as well as the towns of Stanhope and Wolsingham. While at Wolsingam he visits a local timber mill as well as steel foundry which is celebrating its centenary. The film opens on a picturesque riverbank along the river Wear. Title: The River Wear The camera pans left to right showing Mike Neville sitting on a nearby riverbank. He gets up from his spot and walks away. The film cuts to a view of the Wearhead Bridge where the twin streams of Burnhope and Killhope meet. Mike Neville crosses the bridge and walks along a path beside the river. General views of a ford over the wide but shallow section of the Wear in Upper Weardale. At St Johns Chapel Mike is seen walking into the village. General views of the Town Hall and war memorial built just outside. Mike looks at the names on the memorial. He then walks across the road towards the Church of St John the Baptist which can be seen in the near-distance. The film cuts to Mike walking along a long straight, possibly Roman, country road near Eastgate. He walks towards a stone wall and looks over it into a field. The film cuts to a view of a limestone quarry and an overhead conveyor lift. A car drives through a ford. In a playground near to the ford Mike is seen riding a tea-pot-lit roundabout. In the Market Place at Stanhope two double-decker buses are in front of the castle, which is an approved school for boys. The camera pans right to left towards the Packhorse Inn, a former coaching inn. On the Wear near Frosterley river board officials releasing marked young salmon into the river as part of a scheme to monitor the movement of the fish. The film cuts to general views around the nearby Frosterley Marble Quarry showing quarrying activities. Men are seen drilling, setting charges and dynamiting rocks. Mike Neville walks beside a large wood pile at the Wolsingham Timber Works. Insider the sawmill there are various views of men at work making railway sleepers and fence posts. Mike Neville looks intently at the blade sharpening process. Back outside there are views around the market town of Wolsingham. The woodworker in the flat cap is Robert (Bob) Owens. At the top of Redgate Bank Mike Neville looks over John Duckett’s Cross which marks the spot where the Venerable John Duckett was arrested in 1644. Another unexpected feature of Wolsingham is the steelworks, which is celebrating its centenary. Mike Neville interviews Mr Whitehead over views of the plant and the foundry process. They supply to shipbuilding and heavy engineering industries and employ 500 people from the local area. The film cuts to views of the bridge at Witton le Wear panning across to Witton Castle, which Mike Neville visits. General views of the castle which is a fortified manor house, with many original features. The film ends with views of the village of Escomb, and its ancient church. Context On the road in the Wear river valley Marble, steel, fake castles and Roman Catholic rebellion mark the Wear river valley landscape. The charming TV presenter Mike Neville is on the road along the River Wear in County Durham, ‘where ships are born and saints were buried’. This delightful 1960s travelogue marries evocative landscape photography with historical and documentary insights into industries such as the Frosterley marble quarry and Wolsingham steel works, which is unusually located in a picturesque rural town. Between 1962 and 1963 Tyne Tees Television broadcast superb documentaries on the rivers and coastline of the North East in a series called Your Heritage. The second part of this travelogue along the River Wear is sadly lost, and would probably have featured the celebrated shipyards of Sunderland. The steel works at Wolsingham were a major employer in Weardale from 1864 until 1984, producing hefty specialized steel castings for shipbuilding, engineering, and, during two World Wars, munitions industries in the North East.