Super 8 Stories: Diving off Rathlin Island



Rathlin Island




14 December 2003 (first transmission)


05min 20sec




Super 8





BBC NI, Doubleband Films, John Cole

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Doubleband Films, John Cole

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John Cole demonstrates his equipment for filming underwater with an 8mm camera and shows footage of his diving club exploring the wreck of HMS Drake off the coast of Rathlin Island with added reminiscences from fellow diver, Mike Clarke. This clip appeared in Series 1, Programme 3 of Super 8 Stories.


John Cole was a teacher in secondary education at the time he took up home movie making in the 1950s. “I started with a hand cranked 9.5mm Pathe Ace projector - which I still have. I would look at short 30ft Black and White films which I purchased in Belfast and soon I wanted to take my own films. I discovered that 8mm was the new gauge to be using and purchased a clockwork 8mm Bell and Howell Sporster cine camera (which I later mounted in an underwater housing)”. John would show his movies to his brother and parents “and then my wife and children after I was married”. Although not a member of any club at the time he remembers, “I was a member of the British Sub-Aqua Club where I shot most of my movies. I am now a member of Donaghadee Camera Club and have been for the past 35 years”. John has transferred some of his 8mm films to DVD and remains very much involved with modern recording formats. “I have never stopped making movies and have moved up from Standard 8mm to Super 8 Sound and then onto VHS analogue video. Now I am into Digital video and produce my films on DVD. I still enjoy making films of events and things I am interested in and showing the finished work to clubs and organisations. I have been asked to take wedding films and promotional videos which I produce on DVD”. As for the old movies: “It is nice to remember how things used to be. Sometimes I find that I can only remember the events recorded on film!” HMS Drake served in the First World War and was torpedoed by the German submarine U-79 on 2 October 1917 in Rathlin Sound. Her wreck in Church Bay, Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland is a favourite site for divers.

Shot List

Divers heading out to sea in boat. Diving into the water and shots of plants and fish underwater. Demonstration of how the underwater camera worked. More underwater shots. Exploring the HMS Drake shipwreck off Rathlin Island.


Narrator - Maire Jones; Camera - Michael Quinn; Sound - Sion Kerr, Gregg Bailey; Music Consultants - Jim Meredith, Ralph McLean; Production Accountant - Anne Hegarty; Production Assistant - Tammy Moore; Graphic - Alan Perry; Dubbing - One Zero Zero; Online Editor - Johnathan Fetherstone; Researcher - Ronan Feely; Archivist - Evan Marshall; Assistant Producer - Jenny Waugh; Executive Producers - Deirdre Devlin, Michael Hewitt; Editors - Greg Darby, Henry Wood; Producer - Diarmuid Lavery; Director - Brian Henry Martin



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