Rather like the recently discovered dinosaur bones found nearby, this film shows how the age old method of fishing with cobles had been preserved in Staithes, at least in 1959. Although the small fishing village of Staithes has been relatively unspoilt over the years, here we see places like Grinkle Terrace that have subsequently disappeared. Others, like the wonderfully named Gunn Gutter, seem to have survived the changing times.
It isn’t known for sure who made this film; it was the sole donation to the Archive by John Webb in 1994. Although only a small seaside village, Staithes nevertheless boasts that it was once one of the largest fishing ports on the north east coast of the UK. The fish, mostly cod and lobster, as seen here – and the name of a local pub – was transported by rail on the Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway, until the line was closed, just before this film was made, on 5 May 1958. Its other claims to fame include the Staithes Art Group and as the place where Captain James Cook served his apprenticeship – but now best remembered as the home of Old Jack's Boat, where ‘Old Jack' (aka Bernard Cribbins) lived.
Yorkshire Film Archive collects, preserves, and shows film made in, or about Yorkshire. Our collections are non-fiction, dating from the 1890s to the present day, and providing a rich and visually compelling record of all aspects of lives, cultures, landscape, industries, major events and everyday activities, many of which are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.