This film is part of Free

A Taste of Northumbria

A tour of Northumberland that reminds us that what once protected us, now itself needs protecting, as does the surrounding wildlife.

Amateur film 1979 16 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Nature and history get equal billing in this typically delightful travelogue by Wakefield amatuer filmmakers Doug and Norma Brear. With some women friends they visit castles, Holy Island, Hadrian’s Wall and the Housesteads Roman Fort. When visiting the Farne Islands they capture some lovely images of seals, puffins and other bird species, while back on the coast they watch ducklings struggling with the waves of the North Sea, and rescue shelduck chicks.

Doug and Norah Brear of Wakefield Cine Club made over 60 films between 1960 and 1985, many exhibiting their interest in nature and history. The Brears give as their title to the film that of Northumbria, which is the name of the ancient Anglian kingdom based at Bamburgh and York, originating around 604 when it extended from Edinburgh to the Humber (Northanhymbre - the people who lived north of the Humber). Northumberland is the name of the earldom, with its current borders between the Tees and the Tweed, after the Danes invaded south of the Tees in the late 9th Century, creating the Ridings of Yorkshire, and becoming part of a unified England in 954; with the land north of the Tweed being ceded to Scotland in 1018.