• Short Summary

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

  • Description

    c. 1969

    Reel 2

    C/Us of the B/W television screen; the interview panel; the gas rig 'Sea Gem' as commentator talks of the risk of the unpredictable: "In everyone's mind is that terrible day when they lost that rig and the good men who went with her". News footage is seen on the TV screen; clips of interviews with survivors of the Sea Gem disaster who talk of the experience.

    In normal colour we see a rig called 'The Ocean Prince' emerging from a Norwegian fjord where repair work has taken place. L/S of sea buoys that "mark the grave of those who died on Sea Gem". M/S and L/S of a rig being towed out to sea by three ships. Various shots of working rigs in the sea with a gas flame blasting at the top.

    Various shots on a beach; people sitting in deck chairs and on the sand; children playing; most people are fully clothed (British summer!). A middle-aged couple look at sticks of rock on a sea front stall or shop. M/S and C/U of a rack of saucy seaside postcards; a small group of people eat cockles at a stall; C/Us of a sign advertising fish and chip shop menu; then of a Chinese restaurant / takeaway; some young men in colourful '60s clothes walk along a street in a seaside town.

    Nice general view of the countryside in East Anglia. We see large gas pipes being laid underground. M/S of a church steeple; inside are children bell ringing; M/S of a gravestone reading 'In Loving Memory of James Bond' (died 1927) as narrator observes "There is nothing really new under the sun". Various shots of a very old church (could be Norman?). M/Ss of a stately home (unrecognised by this cataloguer); a railway hotel, although the railway is no longer there and we see the platform standing derelict. Narrator says "For now Britain must make the most of what she has".

    C/U of B/W TV screen as the host chats to the two guests and we see television footage of brief shots of Prince Phillip visiting a gas rig; The Queen launching a ship; an electric diesel train speeding along a track; a man looking through a microscope; children in a classroom at school. Voiceover/host is talking of modernity in Britain and better standards in export leading to better standards of living; but power is needed to do all these things.

    In normal colour, aerial L/S of a gas rig at sea; various shots of men who live and work on the rig; in the machine room; lying in bunk beds reading and smoking; playing dominoes (?) at a table; eating in a canteen. Voiceover (in the character of the professor) talks of the price of gas coming down after all the major equipment has been obtained, and how "we've got to keep shoving it through and consuming it". Good canteen shots of the men eating and putting ketchup on their food; a menu on a blackboard. C/U of a large slice of creamy cake being cut.

    L/Ss of Clacton beach, pier and jetty; it's quite crowded; nice M/Ss of a middle-aged man asleep in a deck chair with his wife and daughter. More nice seaside shots; middle-aged man and woman eating ice-lollies on the beach; large couple lounging on the sand; women sitting on the beach wall gossiping; people playing bingo and slot machines. The professor is talking of a revolution of power, and says the gas will be cheap and abundant.

    M/S of a pub landlord behind the bar stopping to watch and listen to this debate on the television; the other guest on the TV show does not agree; just as he is about to put forward his view the landlord switches the television off. Various shots of people in this pub; drinking; chatting; playing dominoes; most are wearing fishermen's jumpers, oilskin trousers and have weather-beaten faces.

    L/S of a gas rig at dusk (or dawn); the gas flame at the top of the rig reflects golden on the sea and the deck of the carrier ship we are on. Narrator repeats the "Wealth, Jim, wealth" quote from Treasure Island that we heard at the beginning of the film. We see two workers on land, cutting part of the gas pipe, as commentator continues "I wiped away the weeds and foam; I fetched my sea born treasure home".

    Credits over L/S of a gas rig at sunset (or sunrise): Production Consultants / Anthony Gilkison Associates / Technicolor; Narrator / Peter Wyngarde; Second Unit Director / Harry Woof; Music Advisor / Jean de Rohozinski; An Associated British Pathe Production; Written and Directed by Peter Baylis; fade out.

    Note: some of the domestic and seaside footage in this film may have been taken from the Pathe produced documentary 'The Four Seasons' - see seperate record. Aside from gas rig footage, there are also some very good shots of seasides, eating / canteens and fishermen in pubs!

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Time in/Out:
    01:36:56:00 / 01:44:03:00

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