Filmmaker Warren Harrison captures the memories and experiences of people who grew up as part of a unique community at Greatham Creek, a salt-marsh near Hartlepool in the Tees Valley. One of those who’s memories are recorded is photographer Ian Macdonald whose haunting images of the creek are used in the film along with family photographs, archive film provided by the North East Film Archive and contemporary footage.
See the film here
From the wonderful Side Gallery Newcastle
The industrialized river mouth documented in the early 1980s by the North Yorkshire photographer, extending his 1970s work in Greatham Creek.
Macdonald wrote: ‘The Tees Estuary is visually extremely exciting. Its richness, in part, arises from the inherent contrasts of the natural environment against man-made structures – of the vast sphere of sky, serene or dramatic, against the horizontal flatness of lowland space punctuated by verticals as power stations, fractionating columns, blast furnaces and estuarine lights. The vast expanse of water reflects a permeating light which clothes objects and landscape in a unique brightness, beautiful and sensational, a delight to photographers and film-makers alike.’ Commissioned by Side Gallery, the exhibition was shown in 1982.
All images © Ian Macdonald
See the online exhibition here
Seaton Carew Road – North Gare Sands – Seaton Snook – The Zinc Works Road – Greatham Creek – Mucky Fleet – West Channel – Seal Sands – Brinefields
White heat has cooled
Across a sea of samphire
Odd flotsam fertility
Catholic in their choice of habitats
Seals have been spotted
The Joy of seeing Avocets
Tacky Shades for Chris Whitehead.
The Creek documentary tells the story of a community of fishermen and their families who built a series of boat-houses and cabins on the north bank of Greatham Creek at the turn of the 20th century, and was abandoned in the early 1980’s. Through interviews with former residents, the photographer Ian Macdonald (who produced a significant body of work at the creek), archive photographs, and location filming, The Creek presents a deeply engaging, moving, and thought provoking film about the Teesside salt-marsh landscape and a unique community that flourished there for nearly a century. Ultimately, the film is an affirming celebration of a way of life in a self-built arcadia.