New film to remember the glory days of Greatham Creek

Warren with Dobbin Fletcher, who used to stay at Greatham Creek with his family.
Warren with Dobbin Fletcher, who used to stay at Greatham Creek with his family.
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A film-maker is bringing a forgotten piece of Hartlepool’s history to life for a new documentary.

For around a century, Greatham Creek was a popular destination for families across the region who would set up temporary homes in houseboats and cabins along the river where they fished for salmon during the summer months.

Warren, principle lecturer for media production in Teesside University’s School of Arts & Media, is working on a film to recapture those days in a documentary film.

He said: “It was a popular place from as early as the 1900s right through to the 1980s. Most people didn’t live there permanently, they would spend their summer holidays there.

“Many of the houseboats and cabins remained there until the 1980s until they eventually started to fall into disrepair as they became no longer used.

“The documentary will be look at the community who lived there while also considering why they were there and how it came to an end.”

The area was documented during the 1970s and 1980s by photographer Ian McDonald and featured in his book Images of the Tees.

Dobbin Fletcher, who featured in Ian’s photographs and Bill Blackwell, now aged 82, are among former Greatham Creek residents Warren has been able to track down and interview for the documentary.

“Bill’s early memories are of going to Greatham Creek with his dad,” said Warren. “He said when his dad wasn’t working, they would go there for the day to fish for salmon.”

Anyone who would like to share their stories about Greatham Creek can contact Warren at w.harrison@tees.ac.uk or 01642 342376.