|Title ID||1032||Collection ID||577|
|Title||Herne Bay on Ice|
|Collection||Ding Dong Films pt 3|
|Keywords||Beaches Weather Winter Piers Seaside Resorts Seasons|
|Format||16mm Colour Sound|
|Duration||6 min. 50 sec.|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
A record of the time the sea froze in Herne Bay. The phenomenon occurred during the severe winter of 1963. The film-maker has added illustrated titles and his own commentary.
The film begins with a close-up of a greetings card depicting a child and a snowman on a sledge, setting the wintry theme. A general view of the bay at Hampton shows the frozen water’s edge. People walk along the promenade and survey the scene from a jetty. Lingering shots of the broken ice floating through the bay. A man films the ice from the promenade. Wide-angle shots show the whole bay frozen including the icebound pier. Views in the east of the bay where there is slightly less ice. Seagulls float on the ice. A view towards the town from Herne Bay pier. Crowds watch the ice flow under the pier. Several close-ups of the ice show its texture. The final shot shows the ice’s presence diminishing in the bay.
This extraordinary event, known as the 'Big Freeze', occurred during the severe winter of 1962-3. Much of the country had been gripped by sub-zero temperatures since the beginning of the winter, many areas of the country also experiencing heavy snowfall. Local newspaper reports indicate that the sea had frozen once before within living memory, during the winter of 1947.
The film is a particularly elegant portrait of this unusual wintry spectacle. Most of the shots are static, allowing the ice to move through the frame, and although handheld, the shots are exceptionally steady.