The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
This film is part of Free
Elvers are cooked for a special tasting
From the collection of:
Reporter Mike Whitmarsh talks to fishermen catching eels on the River Parrett in Somerset. The eels are caught for export to continental Europe. TV chef Frances Kitchin is on hand to test their popularity with members of the public. Elvers, juvenile eels are the UK’s most expensive menu item and arrive in spring after migrating from the Sargasso Sea. River eels grown to full size are a delicacy many cultures whether smoked, fried or jellied. Stocks are in decline.
The British public have fallen out of love with the eel. Eel, pie and mash houses use to be a common phenomenon. Jellied eels are a traditional English dish synonymous with the cockneys of London’s East End. Eels are boiled in a spiced stock, then cool and set forming a jelly that is eaten cold with pie and mash. In the 18th century eels were considered poor man’s food but they remain popular in the rest of Europe, the dish eels in green herb sauce replicates eels in mud and the firm white flesh and texture sits in a thick dense earthy green sauce. Eel farming is an important fishery and eels have not quite been expunged into culinary oblivion. I'll give you a great jelly on it means a good deal in cockney rhyming slang.
Public Information Filler 1940 7 mins
This informative herring aid from WWII makes no bones about the need to make the most of every fish
News 1972 5 mins Location: Wednesbury
Tasting the plain, good 'fittle' of the Black Country - just remember to pull the hairs out of those pork scratchings.
News 1979 4 mins Location: Moseley
A new type of shop appears on the high street: Indian sweets have arrived in Birmingham.
Non-Fiction 1965 7 mins Location: Birmingham
From the House of Liang Nam to the Kam Ling Bamboo Rooms: the pioneers who made the long journey from Hong Kong to bring Chinese food to Birmingham.
1936 9 mins Silent
Guests to impress? Celebrity chef Marcel Boulestin out a quick veal escalope with the aid of a shiny new gas cooker.
Non-Fiction 1918 4 mins Silent
Handy hints for would-be fromagers
Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent Location: Tilbury
Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.
Inside Film 2024 16 mins
Filmmakers Jane Giles and Ali Catterall discuss their documentary Scala!!!, revisiting the legendary and inspirational cinema venue and some of the most notorious films that screened there.
Drama 2023 2 mins
A group of young Black boys run into a building. One of them is about to do the unimaginable.
Romance 2023 2 mins
A queercore romance - a visceral and immersive exploration of the power of the mosh pit and finding love in the most unlikely of places.
Charity appeal 1939 10 mins
Long thought lost, this Powell-directed promotional short for a veteran’s charity was only rediscovered in 2003.
Documentary 1941 6 mins
A poignant, stirring letter from a recently deceased pilot to his mother is read by John Gielgud.