Newlyn Fish Market - boats due to land.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

1940s Cornwall - Fishing free of any incumbrance save the natural world and the vagaries of the human spirit.

Starting in the tiny cove of Penberth, a snapshot of life in and around Mousehole during the Second World War - evidenced by the poster on the side of the fish market door in Nelwyn that warns of the cost of 'loose talk'! 

Maybe some of the characters featured in the film can be named?

The film follows the daily routine for the fishing community in the village, potting from punts and then following the pilchard drifters that sail in the evening and land their fish in Newlyn. There is an interesting animation depicting the seasonal nature of fishing - though a few hands might wonder where the herring mentioned then are today?

Even today, coastal villages like Mousehole are the very yarn that binds the county together and gives Cornwall its unique fishing heritage that brings tourists from all over the world. A heritage now very much in danger of being consigned to visual records on film like this if the draconian and disproportionate legislation being applied to inshore fishermen is allowed to continue.

This film has been made available courtesy the British Council Film Collection.

The British Council Film Collection consists of 120 short documentaries made by the British Council during the 1940s designed to show the world how Britain lived, worked and played.