• Short Summary

    Documentary about the finding of natural gas in the North Sea; good seaside shots.

  • Description

    c. 1969

    Reel 1
    Title over M/S of a lighthouse at dawn: 'Associated British Pathe Presents'; sound of a distant foghorn. L/S of lighthouse as voiceover quotes from 'Treasure Island': "There's something out there, Jim Hawkins. Wealth, Jim, wealth" etc; various shots of a harbour at low tide; beached boats; a pub sign showing a Long John Silver type leaping on one leg.

    Over L/S of a rig and two boats at dusk, title: 'Sea Born Treasure'; voiceover says "I'm gonna get that treasure, Jim. Every gold and silver piece of it" etc. Various shots of cranes lifting oil (?) drums from the boats to the rig; and the rolling North Sea. Various shots of puffins perched on rocks by the sea; a sandy beach with rugged cliffs stretching out to the water; fishermen smoking while gathering nets in on their boats. In the harbour are several moored fishing boats; another returns; two men at a table on the wharf slice fish.

    L/S of the sea rolling in. Commentator talks of the southern limits of the North Sea being the flat lands of the Thames Estuary; we see men wading through the shallows and digging for cockles. M/Ss of the car ferry at Harwich loading up and moving out of the harbour. A lifeboat moored on a stony beach at Suffolk; various shots of a sandy beach, possibly at Norfolk; commentator talks of Winston Churchill and his family building sandcastles in August 1914. L/S of a church with a high steeple; salt-worn gravestones are seen in the graveyard; M/S of one for a sailor from the Merchant Navy, whose body was found in 1947; L/S of the coastline.

    A man in a helicopter checks a graph above the dashboard; L/S of a sweeping stretch of sea. The helicopter approaches a gas rig ('Mr Louie') and lands on the deck; two relief crewmen get out. The old hands stand around in overalls and hard hats chatting and smoking. The old crew get onto the helicopter. Some crewmen in an office watch a message come through on a printer; instructions for work on the rig. Great shot taken from the base wheel of the helicopter as we take off.

    L/S of the rig from the helicopter. M/S taken from the rig of one of the rig legs. Various shots of the rig workers being filmed and interviewed; cameramen are seen filming. M/S of the drill moving down the rig and into the water. High angle shot as a piece of rig machinery swings out over the water; a boat with a large clear deck is floating on the water below; this shot then changes to a black and white television screen shot of the same.

    On the TV screen are two men being interviewed about "this treasure hunt, this finding of gas in the North Sea"; no natural sound, but the narrator acts out the dialogue as we see the host introducing the two guests; a professor and a man called Henry (a journalist?). TV C/U of a news stand reading 'North Sea Gas Strike'; Harold and Mary Wilson and then Ted Heath smile and wave at press before going into No. 10 Downing Street. Voiceover/host says that we have all heard about it (gas discovery) but the only thing that most people care about is what it will cost them. The host turns to the professor, who says natural gas for home consumption is not new.

    C/U on TV screen of sign reading 'Canvey Island'; we switch back to normal colour on the same shot. Various shots of the docks and a large tanker at Canvey Island, where natural gas has been brought in from abroad for some time. We see the gas works where the imported liquid gas is turned back into gas. M/S and L/S of an underground pipe being laid in the countryside to feed the main gas centres.

    C/U of a grid meter reading Sheffield and then Manchester; a man is seen in the grid room talking on the phone. In a kitchen a woman in an apron puts a roast in her gas oven; M/Ss in a red hot industrial oven as commentator talks of the gas getting to domestic and industrial users. Various shots of drilling for natural gas in the countryside; commentator mentions a big gas strike in the Netherlands; the gas is seen rising from the earth, aflame.

    The North Sea: men working on a fishing boat stop to look at two helicopters blasting into the water to test structure of the seabed and what lies beneath. Men in a machine room check results coming out of large computers. One marks the spot to drill for gas on a chart in red pencil. Various drilling shots on a rig; results are checked in a machine room. Another looks at sample rock from the seabed under a microscope. As they finally strike gas, workers look up to see it blast from the top of the rig.

    L/S of gas blast from the rig switches to B/W TV shot; commentator/host asks the professor if this is just a flash in the pan; he replies this is the real thing. TV L/S of gas rig being built on the Clyde switches back to normal colour; various shots of men working on the structure. Workers at John Brown and Co. Ltd turn out to see the rig being launched. The huge rig floats out to sea. Rigs made in other ports are towed out; pipes for rigs loaded onto a supply ship that carries British and American flags. Various shots of rigs being lowered into place; men looking at plans. Aerial shots of gas rigs, 'Orion', 'Seaquest', 'Mr Louie' and 'Ocean Prince'.

    L/Ss of beaches, including Clacton and Scarborough; others could be Felixstowe, Cromer, Whitby (mentioned by narrator). L/S of people on a sandy beach putting up deck chairs. Various shots of pipes being lowered into the sea for sending the gas ashore; underwater shots of the pipes being put in place by a diver. On land some workmen wait with machinery near a sign saying 'Gas Mains'; a man in a cowboy hat (this crew are from Texas) speaks into a walkie-talkie; a small group of locals watch the work from a cliff.

    On a rig at sea a crew member is being interviewed; cameraman from Anglia TV films it. Various shots of work on the rig as voiceover talks of the bad weather conditions. Several shots on muddy land where the pipes are being laid; a man climbs into a small pipe; mud-caked machinery. Various bad weather shots; carrier ships in very rough weather; the drilling continues.

    Various shots in Scarborough (?); the deserted beach in gloomy weather; several guest house signs; posters for theatre or cinema performances; narrator talks in character of a holiday maker wondering what to do in this weather. M/S of television aerials; a TV set with a pot plant next to it before some flocked wallpaper; the programme being shown is the interview we saw earlier.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:00:06:00 / 01:16:27:00

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