Waters Meet – where the Allen meets the Stour, a painting by Clare Small
Members of Wimborne Community Theatre started work on the River project during the time of lockdown in the Covid pandemic. We set up a private Facebook page where we could add our creative contributions by posting our thoughts and reflections, photos, videos, poems, sound tracks and more relating to the project.
Here are some of them:
There are two rivers in and around Wimborne town, one passing to the south, and the other running though the middle of our beloved town.
Rowing on the Stour, the southern, as a child is one of my fondest memories, Dreamboats it’s called, although the reality wasn’t as idyllic as the name would suggest.
The Allen weaves through the centre, splitting where the duck race starts, but few people know where they reunite.
The two rivers are why Wimborne is where it is, so we’ve got a lot to thank them for. Let’s not forget that, and look after them.
The Kingfisher by Sue Bullen
Rocks glint in the sun. Water flows over
Islets of weed, lush green beneath the surface
Veering from the corner of my eye in a flash of turquoise, the kingfisher
Ends one small life.
Ripples sketch their circles in memoriam.
Watch a brief reflection in words and images on the River Allen by Gill Horitz
Watch Reflection – words and images from the River Allen, near High Hall, Wimborne by Tony Horitz
Haiku by Adrian Newton
(inspired by seeing clouds of mayflies hatch earlier in the summer)
a mayfly is born
flies towards infinite sky
swallowed by a gull
Two collaborative river haiku by Lynn Davey, Arthur Newton and Adrian Newton
Patient heron waits
Darting minnow’s sudden dash
Ended by sharp beak
Sunlit lily pad
Casting a murky shadow
On the world below
Watch a video by Dave Arkell, a poem from the banks of the River Allen in Wimborne
Watch a video reflecting on an experience by the River Allen in Wimborne by Tuppy Hill
River, a poem, by Barbara Hart (based on research into the course of the River Allen)
Here it begins,
Baked dry by the sun.
Close by the ancient cursus,
Its long parapets and ditches,
Dug by people from the far-off north,
Their bones left deep in the chalk,
A mother and child, a brother and sister,
A story lost to time.
It gathers and flows
Feeding the land with clear water.
Watercress grows, white-clawed crayfish flourish,
European eel and brook lamprey,
Minnow and dace, grayling and perch,
Salmon and roach, bullhead and pike.
Brown trout shrink from the rod.
And now, more stories
A waterworks, a watermill – the town.
Its name winds between us – Allenbourn and Allendale.
Its bridges transport us – Walford and Eastbrook.
It churns and splits beneath us.
On its banks,
Our history, our books, our passing lives.
We pause and see its shallow reeds move
And its waters ripple with otter and swan.
Now it merges
And the old manor lands hide it,
Until it meets at last the Stour force
And its clear waters become silt become salt.
Chalk to clay to sand.
Watch River, a video poem on the banks of the River Stour by Jeff Hart (river sounds by Rob Hart)
Watch Doggy Paddle – the day our dog Will discovered the joys of the river by Tracie Beardsley
Photo by Lisa Graham Photography
Some recordings of the River Stour and accompanying photos in this release on Bandcamp for World Listening Day 2020 by various artists, including Adrian Newton
Animation Teaser by Hannah Small
Notes: Background image, Clare Small
Animation and fishy, Hannah Small
Eventual voice over will be Eva
The whole thing, when edited, will be around 3 minutes long.