Television in the 1970s

Over the years, Gun Rocks has been in the media. This began in the 1970’s when ITV did live news reports on the lifting of a cannon from Gun Rocks and subsequent filming in the studio, showing the cannon and other finds. While the original footage has been lost, we have managed to track down some footage containing the out takes, located in the North Yorkshire Film Archives. Unfortunately these really are out takes and were found to not be of value to us, lots of scenic footage and soundless scenes of people kitting up. As a result we have decided not to post a video of the out takes here, but to continue the hunt for the original footage….. If you have an idea of where it may be, then please get in touch.

Cannon in the ITV studio, 1970.

YouTube – but who is investigating?

A simple search on YouTube does uncover some Gun Rocks footage. The film is entitled “Gun Rocks Project – Peter Lumley 1979”. The description goes on to say: Shot and edited on film a very painstaking process. Gun Rocks are a part of the Farne Islands on the North East coast of England. To play the video, click on the image.

The film was posted by Ken Crow, who we have since been in contact with. He is part of the NORFED dive group and was able to provide the Gun Rocks project with the footage linked above. Apparently it was put together by Peter Lumley and the members of Bradford BSAC. The link above is only a partial section of the footage, so Ken has kindly volunteered to try and hunt down the rest on our behalf.

Robson Green Dives Gun Rocks

Robson Green’s Tales from Northumberland had a successful first series, which aired on ITV. The producers then started thinking about a second series. They decided that for this new series, they would take the action underwater and record some of the many ship wrecks that are present along the seabed of the northeast coast. As part of their research they contacted Andy Hunt, a member of Tyneside 114, for help in planning which wrecks Robson Green should dive on. Andy was able to advise the film crew and producers and also acted as Robson’s dive buddy.

The filming day arrived and the footage shows two happy divers heading out to the site of Gun Rocks, with Andy explaining that it is an unidentified wreck site which was discovered by Tyneside 114 divers more than 40 years ago. It was first thought that the wreck was a man ‘o’ war from the Spanish Armada as there are lots of cannon which scatter the seabed; however it was finally decided that the ship was most likely a cargo vessel carrying damaged cannon.

A link to the ITV footage was posted on this website, but it has since become unavailable. If you are reading this and know where i can link a copy from, please let us know.

Many news outlets also carried the story of Gun Rocks and Robson Green, an example of which can be seen HERE.