Caught by the River


17th July 2017

A good old-fashioned roundup of happy distractions

Swimmers from a 1956 film promoting Great Yarmouth & Gorleston

The BFI announces an addition of over 600 newly digitised films to their hugely popular archival project Britain on Film. Dating from between 1898 and 2000, the films, from the BFI National Archive and the UK’s national and regional film and TV archives, span the whole of the UK, and are available (mostly) for free on BFI Player via an interactive map.

From maps to atlases: this one, a collaboration between archaeologists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Oxford, assisted by colleagues at University College Cork for Ireland, focuses on the 4,147 archaeological sites considered to be hillforts or possible hillforts spread across England, The Isle of Man, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Somesuch Stories links frequently bounce between our inboxes. Tim Burrows’ short story Never Leave is one such example.

Award-winning illustrator William Grill shares the sketches he made at Wild Spirit Wolf sanctuary in New Mexico during research for his beautiful book The Wolves Of Currumpaw.

Kling Klang vs Ding Dong – over on the Odditorium podcast, Mathew Clayton argues that, even more than the synthesiser, the cowbell was the defining sound of the 20th century.

From their beautiful song that ushers in the spring to our rhymes of birds stuffed in pies, Brett Westwood explores the cultural significance of the blackbird in this Radio 4 programme, produced by Tim Dee. With Mark Cocker, Hanna Tuulikki and poems by Bertolt Brecht, Seamus Heaney and Adam Zagajewski.

Camp4 Collective provide a beautiful and chilling visual document of Denali National Park, Alaska, in a film titled The Ridge.

Nick Fallowfield-Cooper goes in pursuit of carp on the River Lea. ‘It was the first carp I had seen in a while, their tails in the air, the moon had switched them on, dancing on moonbeams…’

Song of the Orcas – Chris Watson captures the conversations of killer whales as they search for salmon in the waters off Vancouver Island, Canada.

Harold Stone of the Bald Ideas blog puts forward a case for resurrecting the depleted River Pinn.

And last but not least, Julian Hoffman explores the Hoo Peninsula, in an essay commissioned by the Whitstable Biennale for a Heritage Lottery-funded oral history project (directed by the writer Rachel Lichtenstein).