Take a look back to boating in the 1960s with the BBC's fascinating archive footage from the 'Britain on Film' series

The boating season is drawing to an end for another year and while the Indian summer may mean we can eek out a few more days on the water, we may have to find different ways to fill our weekends for the cooler months.

Watch the episode of Britain on Film: Messing about on boats on BBC iPlayer.

Luckily for boaters, BBC iPlayer have put this fascinating archive footage online showing life on the water in the 1960s, ranging from fly-on-the-wall scenes of fishing trawlers to the Cowes Torquay Offshore Powerboat Race.

Shot in high quality colour, the series called Britain on Film captured everyday life around the British Isles during the swinging sixties. This episode, called ‘Messing about on boats’, records the growing enthusiasm for boating as innovations in mass production made it cheaper and easier than ever to get out onto the water.

“Boats, boats and more pleasure boats,” says the cut-glass English commentator. “Nearly a million people in these islands are now bitten with the boating bug – a sport or past time that’s growing more rapidly in Britain than any other.”

In 1966, boating was at its peak of popularity and 300,000 people went through the doors at the London Boat Show. Then held at Earl’s Court, the show had a 2.5 million gallon swimming pool and model village – complete with thatched roofs – to create a harbour display.

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Images: BBC