This film is part of Free

Water Cure

Peaceful moments and family memories of holidays on the Norfolk Broads, whether powered by a gentle breeze or by the hum of a diesel engine.

Amateur film 1956 21 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for East Anglian Film Archive


J.D. Butcher, known by his middle name Douglas, was an accomplished amateur filmmaker from Essex. He made both live action and animated short films and his film, “Water on the Brain”, was the ‘first time entrant’ winner in the 1955 Competition of the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers. Notable animations include ‘Mr Putty Takes the Stage’ and ‘Plastic Platitudes’.

The Broads is a 303-square kilometre national park formed by a network of over 200 kilometres of natural waterways in Norfolk and Suffolk, though the area is often referred to as the ‘Norfolk Broads’. The wider expanses of water, hence ‘the broads’, are usually less than five metres in depth and were formed by the flooding of medieval peat workings around 1100 – 1200 A.D. The network boasts thirteen navigable broads connected by seven rivers. The Broads have been a popular holiday destination since the ends of the 19th century and by the 1980s there were well over 2,000 sailing and motor cruisers available for hire, but this has declined in recent years – a factor that has benefited the wildlife of the area.