Video

History: Lamp-Lighters Of The Sea (1961) | British Pathé


published on 18 May 2020 90 -

Found on YouTube, Created by "British Pathé"
Sailors are seen demonstrating the process of maintaining lightships, boats that acts as anchored lighthouses, and the 'street lamps of the sea' , buoys, in this colourful footage from 1961.

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(FILM ID:139.15)
Harwich, Essex.

Various shots of a Trinity House ship, The Vestal, leaving the harbour. It moves out to the Thames Estuary and moors alongside a light ship called 'Tongue'(yes, really!). Various shots as the anchor chain on the light ship is pulled in and replaced with a new one. Our ship pulls away from the light ship and moves off to find some buoys, "those street lamps of the sea".

Various navigation shots; a man on the bridge plots the course; C/U of the course being marked on a map. The Captain signals to the engine room as the ship approaches a buoy in the sea. Two men stand on the buoy and attach a winch to it; the buoy is hoisted aboard.

Several shots show the cleaning of the hanging buoy; seaweed and mussels are sloughed off the base, chain and anchor and thrown back into the sea. The cleaned buoy is then lowered back into the water.

Note: there is no print for this issue. Correspondence on file about the filming of this story between Pathe and Trinity House, plus notes on the sequences filmed.

Cuts exist - see separate record.

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Before television, people came to movie theatres to watch the news. British Pathé was at the forefront of cinematic journalism, blending information with entertainment to popular effect. Over the course of a century, it documented everything from major armed conflicts and seismic political crises to the curious hobbies and eccentric lives of ordinary people. If it happened, British Pathé filmed it.

Now considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world, British Pathé is a treasure trove of 85,000 films unrivalled in their historical and cultural significance.

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Harwich, Essex.
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