A Whitby firm has become caught up in the production of Disney’s latest movie offering.
Steve Leadley, of Caedmon Nets at High Stakesby, said when he first got the call to provide nets for Disney’s Maleficent, he thought it was a prank by one of his mates.
“I took the call and really thought it was a wind-up,” he said. “Then they followed it up with an email and we realised it was genuine.”
Maleficent is a dark fantasy based on the Sleeping Beauty story and starring Angelina Jolie in the title role.
Briar Rose Productions, the UK company which handled the British filming at Pinewood studios, wanted four lightweight nets to catch ravens in the movie, and opted for the Whitby firm.
The film tells the story of the wicked witch who curses the infant Sleeping Beauty after not being invited to her christening. It is due for release next spring.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s Janet Deacon said: “There are some fantastic small businesses along the North Yorkshire coast and in the North York Moors National Park.
“We’re delighted one of them has reached Hollywood.”
Traditionally, the nets Steve and his company makes have been used by fishermen.
Steve comes from a longstanding Whitby fishing family and his brother, Andrew, is skipper of Success III.
Their grandfather, Jim, taught Steve the craft of hand-knitted fishing nets and was also instrumental in the establishment of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations. In 1983 he was awarded the MBE for his services to the fishing industry.
In 1861 Steve’s great-great-great grandfather was one of 12 crewmembers lost in a lifeboat disaster.
Steve set up Caedmon Nets in 1989 after being unable to follow his family to sea due to a serious injury sustained in a hit-and-run accident.
Caedmon Nets is now one of only a small handful of companies in the UK making nets.
“We made the first versions from sisal, but they were just too heavy for the actress to handle,” said Steve, who runs Caedmon Nets with his wife Diane. “So we sourced some lighter-weight spun flax from Egypt.”
The four nets are all eight feet square and Steve added: “We had to be careful about things like the colouring of the flax - the nets had to look authentic in the movie’s medieval setting. We can’t wait to see them in action.”