This film is part of Free

Across the Causeway

Explore the remote and peaceful Holy Island of Lindisfarne in the northernmost part of England.

Amateur film 1975 6 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


A picturesque travelogue considers the ebb and flow of life on beautiful, remote Lindisfarne. Twice a day, the sea rises swiftly across the mile-long causeway from Beal, cutting off islanders, marooning the odd tourist, and beaching grey seals at low tide. A commentary tells of the past spiritual life of this Holy Island and notes the ruins of Victorian lime kilns, the plant ecology, and upturned keelboats as sheds, survivals from the prosperous years of herring fishing.

Along the Causeway was made by Derek Mathieson, who began shooting film at the age of eleven using a clockwork 8mm Kodak Brownie camera. Leaving school aged 15, he first worked at the Inverness Empire Theatre, learning the craft of theatre production including lighting design, and abandoned filmmaking for several years. He joined Darlington Cine Club in 1977 after attending a talk by the South Shields animator Sheila Graber at the club, and has since made over seventy holiday movies and short documentaries, including one on the Lily Laundry in Darlington where he then worked as an accountant and company secretary. Mathieson moved to video production in 1992.