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Duration 01:32

Joe and Petunia – Coastguard

Cartoon couple Joe and Petunia appeared in a number of films starting in the late 1960s.
Covering subjects such as the countryside code, the dangers of worn tyres and saving water, this film about the Coastguard was probably the best known.
Behaving in a way that is common to characters in many early public information films, they are utterly unaware of the dangers caused by, or around them, which are obvious to any onlooker.

The message of this coastguard film was to raise awareness that HM Coastguard had become a ‘999’ service enabling the public to raise the alarm as it does for other emergency services.


PETUNIA:  Oh it’s ever so nice and peaceful up here, Joe. Nice view, too.

JOE:  Aye, very nice Petunia. And look at that nice little boat. He’s having a lot of fun out there in his nice little dinjy. That’s what they call them, you know, sailing dinjies.

PETUNIA:  Aren’t they nice people at our hotel, Joe?

JOE:  Hey hey! Hello! Now he’s splicing his main brace.

PETUNIA:  Though I don’t think the man on table six is very nice.

JOE:  Ey, do you think he’s in trouble, Petunia?

PETUNIA:  Ooh no, Joe, he’s just enjoying himself on holiday.

JOE:  Oh, he’s decided to have a swim. Now he’s going to climb back again. I expect that water’s a bit cold, don’t you? Oh, oh, he’s changed his mind. Now he’s waving to us. Coooeeee! I can’t say I recognise him, though.

PETUNIA:  Well he must know us. Maybe it’s the gent on table number six?

JOE:  No it’s not him, he’s much…Oh now he’s shouting. LOVELY DAY, IS’NT IT? SAILOR: HELP HELP! DIAL 999 AND ASK FOR THE COASTGUARD.

JOE:  I can’t hear a word he’s saying, you know. JOE, reading: Dial 999… and… ask… for… the… coast…guard… Well I never!

VOICEOVER: If you see a boat you think may be in distress, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.


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