Watch: Archive footage of North-East's coastal heritage is dusted down after more than 50 years

Archive footage of the North-East's coastal heritage has been dusted down and made public more than half a century after it was first broadcast.

A scene from newly-digitalised 1962 documentary The Coast of Commerce.
A scene from newly-digitalised 1962 documentary The Coast of Commerce.

Sunderland, South Shields and Hartlepool all feature in 1962 television documentary The Coast of Commerce.

It has been released for free online by the British Film Institute (BFI) as part of its new Britain on Film: Coast and Sea collection.

The 26-minute Tyne Tees Television programme is one of 600 recently-digitalised films charting life along the United Kingdom’s coastline for more than a century between 1898 and


Beginning his journey in Whitby, presenter Austin Steel moves north to Middlesbrough before visiting Hartlepool’s historic Headland and the Cerebos salt works at nearby Greatham.

He then continues to Wearside by train to spotlight Sunderland’s proud shipbuilding industry along the River Wear before offering a more tranquil view of the area in Whitburn.

Then it is on to South Shields with some fascinating footage of locals at the bustling town centre market.

BFI head of archive Robin Baker said: “Britain on Film has highlighted some of the lesser known films from our collections, some of which not even curators had seen before and

provided them with audiences that are often bigger than on their first release.”

The Coast of Commerce has been released by the BFI in association with the North East Film Archive.

Other local footage includes a gathering of Lambretta enthusiasts in Whitley Bay in 1957 in Scooter Weekend.

You can watch The Coast of Commerce in full and other programmes in the Coast and Sea collection here.