Watermark Disease

1960s , Essex (County)

The effects Watermark disease has on willow trees.

The opening shot of this film, which concerns watermark disease that affects the willow tree, is a microphotographic shot of the bacterium 'Erwina Salicis'. This spread from the Low Countries shortly after the turn of the century. The film explains the symptoms and the effects of the disease, economically as well as horticulturally. Willow is essential to make cricket bats and grows nowhere but the South East of England. Demand exceeds supply, therefore there is a valuable export market in willow. From a scene showing a village cricket match in Essex, the film offers a short account of the history of cricket in England. there is a still of a lithograph of Colchester Castle, showing cricket being played in the grounds back in 1791. At Kelvedon there were matches during the 19th century that featured 22 players a side. There is a shot of a poster advertising the 'local derby', schoolboys v tradesmen on 22nd September, 1868. The development of the cricket bat is illustrated by a pub sign at the 'Three Willows' at Birchanger. This shows the changing design of cricket bats from the 18th century to the modern design bat. The film also gives a brief account of the history of the willow, from the first white willow found at Lakenheath in 1780. It was sold commercially from 1820. A map of the Southeast shows Essex as one of the main production centres. The film informs that it takes 12 - 15 years for trees to mature. The commentary at this point is supported by scenes from the Essex countryside. The distinctive features of the tree are highlighted. Rooted saplings are lifted from a nursery in Suffolk. Trees are normally grown from three year old cuttings (sets). These are shown being cut in a plantation at Coggeshall in Essex. They are trimmed of side shoots and cut to 3 or 4 bat lengths. Planting, by hand or machine, is straightforward. The film shows a new plantation being planted alongside the river at Bungay. As cattle are partial to the new saplings, they are well protected with wire mesh. The film shows the felling of mature trees. They are trimmed and cut into bat length rounds. In the yard the rounds are split into six or eight and then stacked to season. The film moves attention to the watermark disease. The various outward symptoms and the methods of transmission are described and illustrated. Methods of preventing transmission are discussed, including correct spacing and choice of site for the trees. The disease is encouraged by wet territory. The film reviews the legislative action that has been taken and shows the measures taken by Essex County Council to enforce these. This includes employing 4 full time inspectors and other staff during the summer. Field and laboratory test for the disease are shown and described. The film also shows an old plantation being destroyed by fire. Having been neglected it had become infected and fire is the only known method of destroying the watermark Disease.

Featured Buildings

The Three Willows P.H., Birchanger; Colchester Castle (s)

Other Places

Birchanger; Bungay; Coggeshall; Colchester; Kelvedon; Lakenheath

Manifestations

Watermark Disease

  • Barcode
    INV367973
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:21:36
    Modification Date
    27/09/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    730333
  • Barcode
    INV315669
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:21:36
    Modification Date
    31/08/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    725145
  • Barcode
    INV388970
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    MP4 H264 digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:21:36
    Modification Date
    31/08/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    724338
  • Activities
    Barcode
    INV385913
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    DV digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:21:36
    Modification Date
    10/05/2011
    Parts
    Reference
    708167
  • Barcode
    INV280299
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    master digital
    Dimension
    Duration
    0:21:43
    Modification Date
    23/06/2010
    Parts
    Reference
    682259
  • Barcode
    INV204475
    Canonical Identifier
    A-1035
    Canonical Title
    Unknown
    Carrier Type
    16mm film
    Colour Type
    colour
    Has Sound
    Y
    Identification Notes
    Picture: combined (data migration 25/06/2021)
    Identifier
    Image Polarity
    positive
    Modification Date
    25/06/2021
    Parts
    Reference
    560841
    Sound
    sound

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