This film is part of Free

trip on a cockle boat

Living in Leigh-on-sea, a stone's throw from the shore and busy fishermen, amateur film fan Harold Jones was on hand to hitch a ride on one of the boats and film the men at work.

Amateur film 1950 6 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


Old Leigh still retains its charm as a fishing hamlet and cockles are still harvested from the Thames Estuary and served fresh from the boats. But in the 50s Leigh was alive with fishing smacks and home to a thriving industry supplying fresh cockles to the London markets. Harold captures the race against the tide and back breaking work to harvest the cockles and bring them back to shore where the job starts to clean them up ready for sale.

Harold William Jones worked at Kodak from the age of 16 until he retired at the age of 63. His work gave him better access to film than most and he was able to indulge his hobby of filmmaking, recording family and people around him. Living in Old Leigh, Harold had a love for the sea and boats and would have persuaded local fishemen to take him onboard to film them at work - thus preserving a way of life which was such a very special part of Leigh and an important livelihood to many.