This film is part of Free

Milford Fishermen

A rich past, a recession-hit present for Milford Haven's fishing industry, as commented upon by the trawlermen of the 'Picton Sea Eagle' who are seen on land and at sea.

Documentary 1977 36 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales


Once upon a time, Milford Haven was a thriving harbour with busy fishing industry as the late 1920s footage included in this film indicates. But now, despite the gruelling conditions faced by the trawlermen, the industry, as far as small scale ventures is concerned, is in decline and the crew and owners of the 'Picton Sea Eagle' may soon be history. Richard Watkins, the director/producer, referred to this film as an allegory of Wales and its people – they just about survive.

The new breed of super-efficient trawlers, the oil boom at Milford Haven and the town's perceived lack of interest in its fishing industry are what have done for them, so agree the managers and fishermen of the small scale trawler shown in this film. Documentary-maker, Richard Watkins, from Swansea, spent 2-3 weeks at sea with the fishermen, with the blessing of the owners – Norrard Trawlers – who welcomed a film that would highligh their predicament. Watkins included the 1920s film 'Trawling out of Swansea on the Tenby Castle' which was shot by Francis Worsley, a BBC radio producer who was living in Wales at the time (he became famous as the produer of the ITMA radio series during the Second World War).