Moving North: Coastal Yorkshire

Ever wondered what life was like along the Yorkshire coast 100, 50 or even 20 or 30 years ago?  Well, now's your chance to find out as we reveal an extraordinary collection of coastal films that span almost every decade of the last century, which we'll be presenting in venues up and down the Yorkshire coast in the coming weeks and months as part of Moving North: Coastal.

Made by local film-makers and cine enthusiasts recording the lives and landscapes of our coastal communities, the films reveal an astonishing record of the people and the places we know so well – from early footage of ‘climmers’ harvesting eggs on the precarious cliffs at Bempton, to the 1950s fishermen from Bridlington bringing home the daily catch, with crab and lobster on the table by the end of the day. And the seaside wouldn’t be the seaside without the fish, chips, fun and family frolics of the classic beach holiday: it’s a simple recipe – sea, sand and hopefully some sunshine, as children don the unforgettable but completely impractical knitted bathing costumes of the day, whilst Dad masters the art of the deckchair assembly.

In Yorkshire we’re blessed with a coastline rich in natural beauty and history, from the Humber Estuary northwards to tiny inlets and coves with communities where fishing has been the mainstay of families for generations, and the unscalable cliffs that remain the kingdom of birds, still hiding the fossilised secrets of the Jurassic era, to the growth of the Victorian seaside resorts – the beaches, promenades, and fairs and attractions that have become ever more complex and colourful as coastal resorts cater for the taste of today’s tourist industry.  A century of life on our Yorkshire coast, all captured on film, to be revealed once again as part of the Archive’s Moving North: Coastal screenings and events.

Each of the events will be different, with the programmes curated to match the location of the screenings, so expect to see plenty of local footage in all of the screenings.  Upcoming dates include:

Scarborough Art Gallery on 10 August (11:30am, 2:30pm and 6:30pm) 

Bridlington Spotlight Theatre on 6 September 

An open air screening on 8 and 9 September in Staithes as part of their annual festival,

Saltburn Arts Theatre on 1 October

... with more venues to be confirmed in the coming weeks.  

Our trailer above gives just a taste of what's in store!        

YFA Director, Sue Howard, says: ‘The Yorkshire Film Archive’s ‘Moving North: Coastal’ programme is all about bringing local films back to local communities, and opening up our film heritage for everyone to see and enjoy.  People will recognise familiar places, and sometimes faces – family members or well-known local characters fleetingly captured on film all those years ago.  But it isn’t all about the fun and frolics of the seaside holiday; a lot of the films show a different side of life, the challenges for small fishing communities, the sheer force of nature that lifeboat crews face, the impact – good and less good – of mass tourism.  But whatever the subject, all of these films are absolute gems, they are about the places we know and love, and it’s such a pleasure to have the opportunity to bring them back to the communities in which they were made.’

‘Moving North: Coastal’  is also part of a much bigger, UK-wide programme, ‘Britain on Film – Our Lives, Our Stories’  led by the BFI, working in partnership with National and Regional Film Archives to uncover and create access to the extraordinary treasures of our UK film and TV archives for the British public to see and enjoy:    Last year Britain on Film took a closer look at rural life across the UK, and now the focus is turned towards Britain on Film: Coast and Sea, charting our changing relationship with the land and the sea and the intrinsic connection with our national self-image.  Using the Britain on Film map, with the click of a mouse viewers can plot their own course, circumnavigating over 11,000 miles of varied coastline through over 600 newly digisited films, from the southernmost tip of the Scilly Isles to the northernmost reaches of the Shetland Islands, to search and explore locations which hold a deeply personal connection, or collective concerns which occupy us a whole; leisure, industry, environmentalism, the weather.