Derelict Village 1960

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    Beautiful M/S of the Devon coastline, with the sea lapping at a rocky cove (I need a holiday!); panning left to show part of a derelict village on the rocks above the beach. Nice M/S of waves bubbling over rocks in the shallows; commentator says this is "the site of the once proud fishing village of Old Hallsands".

    M/Ss in the village showing some of the old houses, and an elderly woman, Elizabeth Prettejohn, collecting driftwood among the ruins. Commentator says she is the last inhabitant of the village and is nearly 80 (she is, in fact, 75 according to notes on file!). She is dressed in an old brown overcoat with an orange woollen scarf around her head; C/U of her weather beaten face, intercut with shots of the waves crashing in over the rocks; a lighthouse is seen in the distance as the coast curves round.

    Various shots of the ruined village as commentator explains that a bank of protective shingle was removed from the shore at the turn of the century to make concrete for the extension of Plymouth dockyard; and the sea moved up the cliff. M/Ss of Elizabeth feeding her hens; we are told she lives off their eggs and crabs and fish that are either given to her by fishermen in exchange for work or that she catches herself.

    More shots of the salt-eroded houses against the sea (natural sound of the waves lapping); we see windblown grass growing on what was once a fireplace and mantelpiece. Commentator tells of how conditions in the village deteriorated until 1917 when a gale lasting four days and nights devastated it; everyone left except Elizabeth's family.

    Lovely C/U of waves breaking on the shore; various shots of Elizabeth fishing with a line from the edge of the cliff and of the ruins and waves. A rather poetic and melancholy story, for a change.

    Note: There is a newspaper article from The Guardian on file about Miss Prettejohn and Old Hallsands.

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    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    Media URN:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Film ID:
    Time in/Out:
    01:40:59:00 / 01:43:27:00
    CP 307
    Sort Number:
    CP 307
  • Appears in...

    Lifestyle & Culture
    Devon Temporary Workspaces: 15.7.2010 08:36 British coast one show - villages
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