Film screening will focus on heritage footage of Yarmouth’s herring fleets

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the tow

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the town on September 30. Photo: BFI Film Archive - Credit: BFI Film Archive

For fans of Great Yarmouth's herring heritage it is a monochrome masterpiece - and one which may even feature some of their oilskin-clad ancestors.

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the tow

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the town on September 30. Photo: BFI Film Archive - Credit: BFI Film Archive

A screening of the classic 1929 documentary Drifters which chronicles the fishing industry at its height is coming to the Drill House in York Road.

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the tow

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the town on September 30. Photo: BFI Film Archive - Credit: BFI Film Archive

But instead of the pianist that may have accompanied the silent images in its day, a beatboxer and sound artist Jason Singh will provide the live soundtrack.

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the tow

Stills from the 1929 film Drifters which was shot in Great Yarmouth and is being screened in the town on September 30. Photo: BFI Film Archive - Credit: BFI Film Archive

Described as 'beautiful and atmospheric' the score will add to the images, creating a 'cinematic experience'.

On the night, September 30, there will also be films showing the 1950s holiday heyday, artefacts from the Time and Tide Museum, and contributions from the Portuguese speaking community.


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Organisers are also keen to hear from people who remember seeing their relatives in the Drifters film shot by John Grierson in 1929.

Grierson trained his lens on the herring industry drifters, following the people, boats, and curing houses in pursuit of the once abundant herring shoals, creating an unrivalled record of ordinary people in a busy and important place.

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Having started in Leith on August 5 the tour called Following the Fleet re-traces the historic herring route down Britain's east coast to Yarmouth.

It is part of a nationwide programme to launch the British Film Institute's Britain on Film: Coast and Sea, a collection of 600 newly digitised archive films available via an interactive map on the BFI player.

Each performance involves a semi-improvised score to accompany Grierson's portrayal of the daily routines of North Sea herring trawlermen.

It is described as 'a totally unique combination of live vocal sound effects, voice manipulation, beatboxing and pioneering live sampling techniques to create an exhilarating cinematic experience.'

The tour finds its finale at the Drill House in York Road on September 30, at 7.30pm.

'I am super excited about what we have planned for this year's tour and am really looking forward to performing in new venues and to new audiences,' said performer Jason Singh.

The screening at the Drill House, the hub of Seachange Arts, is at 7.30pm. Pay what you can £3, £6 or £9.

For more information or to book click on the website here.

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