This film is part of Free

River - A Living Thing

Dick Joice introduces this documentary charting the course and the history of the river starting at Horningtoft and finishing in Norwich.

Documentary 1983 26 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


The documentary describes how rivers such as the Wensum were useful in powering mills - for example, Fakenham Mill transformed the surrounding area into a thriving market town. The film focuses on seasonal changes in plants and wildlife as well as historic landmarks such as Raynham Hall, Belaugh Hall and Senowe Park. It explores the river as a resource showing the processing of sand, gravel and stone, its value to people for leisure and as a source of drinking water.

The ITV Anglia documentary starts with Dick Joice recalling childhood memories of horse and cart journeys with his grandfather at Syderstone Common. He describes the route of the river from Syderstone through to Norwich and then onto the North Sea. The film includes footage of landmarks and historic houses along the river. The film records the river in all seasons including snow scenes and footage of wildlife and wild flowers. It includes a section on fishing and children enjoying an attractive area of the river near to Norwich. The film finishes with a boat trip through Norwich where the narrator describes a range of landmarks including the cleansing plant at Heigham, Cow Tower and the Warp and Weft factory.