This film is part of Free

Oyster Fishing at Brightlingsea

The big chill of the 1963 winter hits the subterranean Essex coast as oysters struggle to survive the freezing temperatures effecting our luxuries and livelihoods.

Short documentary 1963 13 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


With the coldest winter on record, the persistently low temperatures of early '63 was taking its toll on Essex oysters with many frozen into the ice. Anglia TV reports on the impact on the lives of Brightlingsea oyster fishermen, merchants and the traditional Oyster Feast.

Below 40 degrees, oysters won't eat. The 1963 season saw more than half a million oysters perish.