This film is part of Free

Kind of Heaven

A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end, and a fool at the other.

Documentary 1964 25 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


This irresistible film sets out to prove the (misquoted) Samuel Johnson wrong with a wonderful blend of poetic narration and travelogue along the scenic Tweed, Wear, and Tyne Rivers, and on the North Sea coast. Packed with intriguing fishermens tales, including an interview with the charismatic philosopher of angling, Mr Crabtree Goes Fishing comic strip creator Bernard Venables, this film is a kind of heaven for anglers and lovers of classic TV documentaries.

A jewel in Tyne Tees Television programming, this documentary is beautifully scripted by Frank Entwisle and spoken by old school ITN newsreader, Antony Brown. At a meditative pace, the film celebrates a pastime practised as a mystical art, but deftly weaves environmental, economic, and class issues into the mix. The (masculine) idyll is riddled with privilege. We hear the words of magistrate Sir John Craster, aristocrat and High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1944, and a poacher who recounts his story in the dead of night.