This film is part of Free

Bring 'em Back Alive

Fish are being gutted as fishing boats return with live crabs into a lovely harbour on the Northumberland coast, and load them into baskets.

Amateur film 1957 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Betty and Cyril Ramsden, two of Yorkshire’s finest filmmakers, often turned their holidays into opportunities to film local traditions and customs, and here they do so in 1957 at Seahouses, in Northumberland, famous for its crab and lobster fishing. With their usual eye for detail, the Ramsdens gives us a real bird’s eye view, from on their boats, of the fishermen as they bring in their haul of live crabs.

Betty and Cyril Ramsden, prominent members of Leeds Cine Club, began making their large collection of films in 1945 and continued into the mid-1960s. Cyril had a dental practice in Headingley. Although fishing for crab and lobsters continues today, the small village is now better known as a place from where to visit the nearby delights of Lindisfarne, Bamburgh Castle and to see seals and puffins on and around the Farne Islands. The boat seen in the film, Children's Friend, was still active in 1986 when the BBC launched its Domesday Reloaded project. In the 1960s fishing trawlers operated out of Seahouses, but this came to an end around 2003.