This film is part of Free

Cockling at Wells-next-the-sea

Amateur record of the Alpington villagers' annual visit to Wells for cockling in the 1950s, organised by the 'Wheel of Fortune' pub landlady.

Amateur film 1951 4 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


Captured by Geoffrey Campling, this film is a record of the people of Alpington’s annual visit to Wells-next-the Sea for cockling in the 1950's; one of the many outings organised by the popular pub landlady of the 'Wheel of Fortune', Mrs Bilham. The large coach party arrive at Wells, head down to the beach, and with much merriment, hitch up trousers and skirts to climb into boats, ready to be ferried out to pick from the cockle beds.

Captured by Geoffrey Campling, this film is an excerpt that forms part of a longer reel that the filmmaker titled “A series of films of the Norfolk Countryside”. Geoffrey Campling was a keen amateur filmmaker, who recorded numerous events and local people in Norfolk. This film would have been screened in the village hall at Alpington, following the events featured to all of those who had taken part. Wells has long been a popular destination for cockle pickers and still receives many tourists each year.