This film is part of Free

Enchanting North

Castles, shipwrecks and colonies of birds encountered on a journey down the coast of Northumberland.

Amateur film 1959 9 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


This 50s home movie features some of the Northumbrian coast’s enchanting cultural treasures. The springtime sights visited include Howick Hall, the ancestral seat of the Earls Grey, and Bamburgh Castle, Victorian industrialist William Armstrong’s huge restoration project. The romantic ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle loom over Embleton Bay, where the rusting hulk of a Polish trawler lays shipwrecked on rocks, the fishermen rumoured to be Cold War spies.

Also featured is a boat trip from Seahouses harbour to the famed bird colonies on the Farne Islands, a popular stop off for tourists and bird-watchers alike. The Polish-registered fishing boat ran aground in fog on the 28th August 1958 at a place known as Novia Scotia. There were various reports suggesting the boat was wrecked on purpose, either for reasons of espionage or to claim asylum.