The Launch of the Rio Delta

Unfinished Amber

Late 1980s footage, never used, of the launch of a boat built by a shipyard worker on the Meadow Well Estate in North Shields with materials liberated from the yard.

The narrowness of the boat was determined by the space between the houses, where it was built. It didn’t help the stability and seaworthiness of the boat in the water. The filming was done during Amber’s residency in North Shields (1986 – 1991), when the group was very involved with the Meadow Well. The speculative approach to documenting such events can be seen in the shots of Amber actor Ray Stubbs inspecting the boat and helping with the launch. If the footage had been used in a drama, scripted work would have been shot to cut in with the documentary footage. You can see something similar with the use of the Queen’s Jubilee visit to Easington in Shooting Magpies. Amber member Pat McCarthy does the honours for the launch of the Rio Delta with the bottles of champagne and beer.

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