Film: 3324

Geography | 1980 | Sound | Colour


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A film about oil pollution in British waters and the clean up operation that goes on to keep the UK’s beaches and water clean 1980's

Waves crashing on a deserted rocky coast.
Brief clips of a ferry viewed from the beach, gulls circling a boat and a fishing boat moving through the water. View down onto a wide deserted sandy beach. Cut to the presenter talking to camera from the beach. Brief clip of a seaside small harbour. The presenter on another beach, walks towards and talks to camera. He bends down and picks at a clump of oil on the sand.
A tanker ship at sea and an oil rig. Helicopter eye view as it flies over a tanker at sea. Aerial view of an oil slick on the water. Back to the shore and oil being washed up on rocks.
The Torrey Canyon oil spill, south west UK coast in 1967. Aerial view of the stranded tanker. The presenter talks to a local man in a small Cornish harbour, who explains what it was like after the accident. A view of the beach back in 1967. Women shovelling oily sludge into buckets as part of the clean up operation. Back to the present day as the interview continues along a breakwater in the harbour. View of a cove back in 1967 with a helicopter delivering supplies to a beach, where people are working (cleaning up?). The interview continues as the pair walk along a beach. B&W footage of dispersant being sprayed over the beaches and sand being bulldozed. The 1960s footage is interspersed with 80s interview footage.
View from a cliff overlooking a small harbour town.

Exterior of Warren Spring Laboratory as three men in business suits walk up the front steps. Close up of test bottles of oil in a laboratory, each labelled with the name of an oil producing country – Kuwait, Qatar, UK crude, Arab LT. Camera zooms back to show the whole lab with white coated scientists at work. In another lab a man pours oil into a petri dish before adding chemical dispersant with a pipette. The dispersed oil breaks into tiny globules. A small boat heads out to an oil spill in the sea. The boat is towing agitation boards to help spread the dispersant that is spraying from a nozzle. Two men on a beach inspect oil deposits. They reel out hoses and start pumping dispersant which is sprayed across the sand. The tide comes in and washes the broken down oil back out to sea. Two men spray a gel like dispersant to oil stuck on a sea wall. A man with a high pressure hose then sprays the wall clean, before inspecting the now clean stones. Back in the Warren Spring Laboratory a scientist or technician works with surface film chemicals. Oil is poured into a petri dish. At sea a man sprays chemicals onto an oil slick to keep it contained. Back in the lab the same chemical is added to the petri dish and the oil shrinks into the smallest area its volume can occupy. Back on a beach, workers contain an oil spill with chemicals before pumping it off the beach. In the Warren Spring Lab a technician puts bottles of samples on a machine that agitates them. A woman in a lab coat walks across the lab with a bottle of chemicals, adding the bottle to a table with other bottles on it.
Two people collect samples on the beach in a bucket. Ministry of Fisheries laboratory in Essex, lab coated scientists at work. Two women technicians test chemicals on some molluscs. Prawns in a tank. Lab is testing oil dispersant chemicals for their safety to marine life. A glass beaker is placed on a clip board. Marine biologists in dive gear pass a net of samples they have just collected, to a man on a boat. The divers are whisked off in a motorised dinghy to dive elsewhere.

Two men sit in an office either side of a desk in Kent. The programme’s presenter interviews a man about the challenges of keeping Kent’s coastline clean. A large map is laid across the desk and the interviewee talks through the areas on the map.
At a dock in Kent, workers in yellow waterproof jackets get cleaning equipment ready. The show’s presenter carries out an interview about pollution while the workers continue in the background. Tank of chemicals is lifted onto a worker’s back, who is kitted out for spraying. Overhead view of the equipment, workers and interview on the quayside.
A light aircraft flies past. The camera pans around and a coastguard tower in Kent comes into view. Workers in the tower monitor equipment and keep records. View out to sea of a tanker in the distance. A man walks downstairs (very dark). Woman talks on a radio at night, with radar equipment operating in the background. A man carries out the same task. They appear to be working in infra red light in the coastguard tower. Back to day time the coastguard workers in the tower. An aircraft cockpit, the pilot is searching for an oil spill. Aerial view over an oil slick. A boat at sea reaches the spill and starts spraying dispersant. A helicopter flies over. Aerial view of the boat at work.
White cliffs of Dover. Overhead view down to a cove. Oily water lapping up onto a beach.
A man rows a small boat through water thick with oil in a harbour in Kent. View of the coastline black with oil. A boat sprays dispersant.
A group of men sit around a table in an office, viewing Polaroid photos of pollution damage on beaches. The camera focuses in on each man as they speak in the meeting.

A boat bobs in the North Sea. Crew ready a skimmer device for the removal of oil from the water. An inflatable boom contains the oil slick. An inflatable dingy speeds across the water. Aerial view of the Ecofisk oil rig in the North Sea. The processing terminal for crude oil at Teeside, still under construction. Three men in hard hats get in a minibus for a tour of the building site. View of driver as they head off. View of partially constructed storage tanks from the moving bus. Switch back to men in conversation inside the van.
“Fine Belgique” tanker ship is pulled into port by tug. View of the three men now walking on an over water raised platform. The tanker pulls alongside the dock. The men walk along the quayside beside the vessel. Pumps and pipelines are manoeuvred into place to begin unloading the oil. The three men in conversation look at a glass vial of oil as they stand amongst the pipe network on the docks. The ship is connected to a pipeline and pumping commences. Back in the minibus the men continue their conversation. Off the bus the men inspect a partially built receiving tank.
Use of an inflatable boom to contain oil, in a river. People are taught how to use it. Men pull the boom (now deflated) onto the river bank and start to roll it up. A bulldozer on a sandy beach collects lumps of tar. A quad bike dispersant dispenser in operation on a narrow rocky beach. Large scale dispersant beams being towed behind a ship at sea. A team of clean up workers gathered on a beach with their equipment.
A series of brief clips from earlier in film are repeated.
Waves crashing on rocks. The presenter now speaks to camera from the same beach he started on a the beginning of the film.

To request more details on this film, please contact us quoting Film number 3324.