Coastal Village

Still from 'Coastal Village' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1941'

Date: 1943
Director: Stanley Irving
Duration: 10:--
Format: 16mm
Sponsor: British Council
Production: G.B. Instructional
Supervisor: G.J. Cons
Photography: Frank North

This short film documents the everyday life of a small fishing community who work and prosper from Britain’s coastline

The film goes into great detail about the standard routine of the coastal village dwellers and the way in which every member contributes to the community. As with many of the films in the archive, Coastal Village highlights the divide between the roles of men and women: there is footage of the men working at sea and the women working about the house, hanging out the washing,
Still from 'Coastal Village' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1947-50'

with the narrator citing the old saying “a woman’s work is never done”. Beyond providing information about the daily routines and lives of the villagers, the film is also very educational in terms of the procedures and techniques involved in fishing; even going into great detail about the fishing nets. The film deserves great merit also for the aesthetic quality of its picturesque footage: there are many shots of the harbour and the bay, as well as fields near by where crops are grown; and there is a magnificent shot of the sunset cascading down across the sea with a boat out at the bay.

Coastal Village (Great Britain, 1943)
Educational Films, Geography
Distributors: G.B. Equipments Ltd
Producers: G.B. Instructional Ltd
2 reels 998ft / 27 mins Format: 16mm, Sd
UK Rights: British Council

This film gives glimpses of life in a typical fishing village. A map of the harbour shows that it is situated where there is a natural curve in the coastline. The daily life of the villagers begins early, when the fishermen come back with the night’s catch, which is then sorted, packed and sent off to the market. The men who fish for crabs and other shellfish work by day and as they return the fishers for pilchards are seen going out to drop their nets. The lengths of the season for each fish are shown by the use of diagram.

This is an excellent film both technically and as geography. It is typical of what such a film should be. It shows a particular fishing village, but somehow it has become typical of most fishing villages. It is essentially a village of that part of the country, but at the same time the atmosphere of all such villages is got across to the viewer. It could be used by teachers to show the essential vital characteristics of so many places round the British Isles. *

*Appraisal by the Geography Films Viewing Committee

Films issued between August 31st and September 30th (1947) in the Monthly Film Bulletin of the BFI - Vol. 14 Nos. 157-168 1947 pg. 123