This film is part of Free

Patrington Village, Yorkshire

John Betjeman waxes lyrical in this picturesque Humberside travelogue.

Travelogue 1955 3 mins


"The richest village flower in the garden of the Middle Ages". In this edition of Shell-Mex's Discovering Britain with John Betjeman series, it's Yorkshire's East Riding / north Humberside villages that get the JB treatment. The camera passes through Holderness and Oteringham before luxuriating in the fine scenery and pre-reformation church architecture of Patrington while Betjeman waxes lyrical.

The series was produced by Random Film Productions in the 1950s (and re-released in compiled form in 1964) to inspire motorists' visits to sites of interest - building on Betjeman's long association with Shell as editor of the popular Shell Guides. Drawing on the pastoral side of British documentary, which Betjeman admired, it was picked up by ITV for broadcast in 1955-6, proving a spur to the poet's later celebrity status. To his admirers, Discovering Britain may feel like a first draft for Betjeman's longer and better-known TV films. But if you're of the view that a little Betjeman goes a long way, the unassuming economical craftsmanship of Random's low-budget shooting, as matched to the writer's contributions in the sound studio, may be just what the doctor ordered.