Yarmouth Trawlers

  • Theme - Local Industry
  • Year - 1896
  • Location - Gt. Yarmouth
  • Filmmaker - Birt Acres


Shot by motion picture pioneer, Birt Acres, this is probably the first ever film shot in the East of England.
This film is shot from a static position on Gorleston Pier, on the south side at the mouth of the River Yare, shooting back towards Great Yarmouth. A drifter is first seen going past then a steam paddle tug tows a fishing smack out of the harbour, registered as YH120, apparently named `Thrive'. The next fishing smack registered as YH 723 and called `I Will', is much closer to the camera showing the crew hard at work hoisting the sails as they head out into the North Sea.

Background history:

To be able to view such an early film recording an industry that has been so much of Gt Yarmouth’s and the east coast’s life, livelihood and heritage over the years is very special. You will be able to trace the moving image history of the region’s fishing industry on this website showing fishing over the next 50 years or so.

Thanks to Douglas Paterson’s www.fishingboatheritage.com for more detailed information about these boats

Thrive; Official No 56347;39 registered tons; Dandy rigged; Built Southtown, Suffolk 1867 (or 1857); Owner in 1896, Mrs Eliz. J Buckie, 67 South Quay, Gt Yarmouth.

I Will; Official No 78232; 51 registered tons; Dandy rigged; Built Yarmouth 1877; Owner, in 1896, Mrs P Bland, Middlegate St., Yarmouth. Manager: Arthur James Bland of the same address.

Interestingly, both boats were registered to women. Apart from tax liability implications this could also be because the husband as the owner, should he die he leaves the boat to the wife who choses to continue to operate it as a source of income rather than selling it off.


Member Comments (2)

Join in the conversation today!
Please Register or Login to comment and view comments

  • Sounds great... BUT....I can't get the videos to actually play! What do I need to make them run please? (the suspense is killing me!)
    Geoff DunnBy: geoff dunn - 1799 days ago
  • Great film. I liked the rowers in the background about to be hit by the wake. No outboard motors to fire up... Just row, row, row your boat as hard you can steam!By: Kevin Dean - 2774 days ago
Back to search results