Media > Film > Low Water

iLow Water

TV social documentary shot in black & white, commissioned by Document (Productions) Ltd, 1966.

Duration: 28 minutes

Music duration: 5 minutes
Music by Carey Blyton
Scoring: Flute/Piccolo, Oboe/English Horn, Clarinet/Bass Clarinet, Two Horns, Bassoon
Performance: Portia Wind Ensemble

Script by George Thomson
Narrated by John Hollis

Directed and Edited by Tom Scott Robson
Produced by Barrie Barton,
Document (Productions) Ltd

Awarded 1st Prize, 12th International Short Film Festival, Tours, 1967 (First Entry category).

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Low Water

Low Water presents the story of the hard life of the men who gather sea coal from the bleak beaches of County Durham. The harsh existence of the sea coalers is underpinned by the austere nature of the black & white film and Carey Blyton’s suitably bleak music for the opening and closing credits.

Sea coal is coal that has been washed up on the beach, coming from coal seams in sea cliffs or underwater deposits. In places where such coal occurred it could be a dependable source of fuel, and professional sea coal gatherers would collect and sell the coal—as depicted in this documentary.

Please note that the original soundtrack of Low Water is available on the CD Carey Blyton: Film & Television Music (2/4), which may be purchased from this site.


…a film whose inherent bleakness and sombreness is pitilessly underlined by Carey Blyton’s equally bleak and sombre score.

Hilton Gough, BFFS Film magazine, no 25, April 1975