Film to be shown for first time in 40 years

Playwright Tom Hadaway
Playwright Tom Hadaway

A well-known and much-loved North Tyneside playwright’s film is to be shown again after 40 years this weekend.

A tragic tale of the unrequited love of a North Shields collier for a Cullercoats fisher lass, the story of a woman who had a far deeper commitment to her family and her community than for the love of any man – it was a poignant story that gave inspiration to Tom Hadaway.

Set at the turn of the 20th century and based on the experiences of Hadaway’s uncle, it became the Bafta-nominated BBC play, God Bless Thee Jacky Maddison.

The film of the play has not been seen for more than 40 years, but thanks to a loan from the Hadaway family, the Old Low Light Heritage Centre will have the privilege of showing it again as part of their summer exhibition, Views from The Happy Hunting Ground.

Dave Young, curator of the exhibition, said: “Back then for a Cullercoats woman or man to marry outside of the village was taboo. The women were valuable commodities, responsible for mending nets, baiting lines, hauling boats and selling fish from a creel strapped to the back. The community could ill afford to lose one.”

Tom Hadaway described his uncle as the most influential person in his life. He lived to 91 and following his death, Tom came across a very poignant piece of Victorian-style poetry written by this old pitman to the girl he lost his heart to so many years before.

The Old Low Light will be screening God Bless Thee Jacky Maddison on Saturday at 1.30pm. For tickets, drop in at the Old Low Light or call 0191 2574506.