The North East Film Archive is one of a network of regional film archives established to collect, preserve and show film made in, or about the North East of England. Our collections are non-fiction, and date from the early 1900s to the present day, providing a rich record of life in the region over the 20th century. Many of our films are available to watch, free of charge, on our website.
This film is part of Free
Todd Yard Docks
A memorable glimpse at the industrial docks and timber yards of West Hartlepool in the 30s.
From the collection of:
At the dockside West Hartlepool timber merchants known locally as Todd’s Yard, the bowler-hatted George Horsley is pictured amidst acres of log piles with his favourite carpenter, who saws pit props by hand, destined for the Durham coalfields. Misty panoramic views of the seaside docks take in bustling railways, shipyards and a rare glimpse of the coal staithes in Victoria Dock.
George Horsley was the son of Mathew Horsley, a local river pilot who bought shares in sailing vessels and then branched out becoming a steamship owner. The Horsleys were also timber merchants and coal exporters, counting shipyard owner William Gray amongst their distinguished friends. The filmmaker is probably George’s younger brother Neville Horsley, who produced many home movies of important local events the family attended such as the opening of West Hartlepool Airport, also featured on BFI Player.