Wivfaf (Wivenhoe fact and fiction)live blog

Friday 18.00

So here is the ‘sketch’ of #wivfaf. Very, very ugly and clunky at this stage …


Even in this clunky format I rather like the idea of crossing Padgett Row railway bridge and reading the story of Sarah Rout’s grandad, or reading MWBewick’s Ferry Marsh poems whilst in the location itself (even better if these were audio recordings perhaps). And the personal stories are nice too – Lauren Baker’s memories of William Loveless Hall for example which could lead to more like that. Then there’s the provocations – @realcric ‘s start to a narrative (almost asking for you to finish it) or Msr Cobbs provocation about the health centre.

If you’re interested the blue lines are rough routes -with some rough instructions and all the photos and pins are clickable. Lots of blips (please feel free to let me know the ones you find – by all means use the comments below) and I’ve not yet had the chance to check how the thing behaves when you’re in Wivenhoe itself with location switched on (though it appears to behave on my Samsung phone and Google Nexus).

For a completely different approach – and much more finished – check out Racing Rachel – also made in a couple of days and this time based in Norwich (made by Rachael from The Soup Lab and independent live artist/writer Rebecca Wigmore.

Thank you to everyone who supplied photos, ideas, writing…its been fun collating them all!

Friday 11.47

A route is now (roughly) in place…last call for contributions!!!

Friday 10.41

In a bit of a grump – lost an hours work on the train this morning on another project.

Still contributions from @jason_cobb and @mwbewick have lifted my spirit somewhat.

This from @jason_cobb:-

the health centre - not ‘They tried to build a health centre here. Sounded like fiction at the time, but was certainly fact.’

And two contributions from @mwbewick about Ferry Marsh:

1. 1. Location: junction between the Wiv trail by the railway line and the track that turns onto the ferry marsh.-

A Return (Sonnet)

Those years – did it ever really stick
In mind, this mire of brown estuarine mud?
A trick, forgot in ideals, thick
With thought: how? why? what? should?
There was no habitat here but the past:
The sweet chestnut and bluebells of a dream
A deluge of deliberations that never last
A ferry to a riverbank unseen.
And shrill, but strong, then it called –
A greenshank slits the sky across
And light comes tumbling, lives fall in
And settle. Being here now? No loss?
No rattling rail or kicking boots brought such luck
To have come here, and gained, and stuck

2. Location: bang in the middle of the ferrymarsh


The bird’s feathers scythed through the morning air imperiously as it locked its position over some ground prey, unseen, scuttling in the wilderness below. The long arc of those wings; I had seen something like them before. An owl, perhaps, or a bird of prey, a falcon or harrier, a raptor. Was an owl a raptor? Experts would know the difference. They would say they would. An owl, wise. A raptor, terrifying, bloodthirsty. But this was just semantics. The prey, doomed, did not care. I continued on my way. Geese rose up from the water. A distant siren. Church bells.

A kind of weird narrative walk is emerging. With that in mind – more memories or mini stories – especially around Cooke’s Yard, The Quay, Ferry marsh, wivenhoe woods and even the William Loveless Hall. More details about how to get involved here! Can probably take contributions up until about midday

It wont be a finished thing – but an interesting idea for some more work perhaps?


So I was going to post the link to the test map this afternoon but the flickr link has failed me at the last minute – which means some of the pics from earlier in the day haven’t been drawn down onto the ‘map’. Slightly frustrating … but we’ll sort it in the morning!

In the mean time be great to get some more material to throw up there. Stories like Sarah Rout’s Grandad, or @realcirc beginning of a tale and the first den in the world (sic) are lovely things to capture. More please!!

Details of how to send things through here


The flickr link is now working and showing images that are sent through to wanted87cool@photos.flickr.com are being picked up if they have geo tagging turned on (if not we’re manually the location at this end)

In the mean time this rather lovely story came in which I’ve allocated to just beyond Padgett Road where the Brightlingsea Railway train off used to be:-

‘My Grandad, Arthur Nice, worked for the railway as a track walker. (Not sure of his official job title) Each day he walked between Wivenhoe and Brightlingsea, along the railway track to check it was safe.

One particular day, in 1938, he was at the swing bridge in Alresford, when he saw it wasn’t shut properly. It was presumed a barge had knocked it. As a train was due any minute and if it hit the bridge, it would have crashed into the river, my Grandad had to run along the track and flag the train down, thus avoiding disaster! His bravery and quick thinking even made the national newspapers of the day’. [Sarah Rout]

Twitter locative stuff is proving to be more tricky. You can only hold tweets for a certain amount of time, it’s less robust than something like flickr and can only cope with a certain amount of ‘calls’ per hour. There’s something about a programme which collects tweets under a particular hash tag – but for now we’re going manual.

Still looking for more material so please do send images, stories, facts and fictions (and locations) to me at linleymatt@googlemail, via twitter with the hashtag #wivfaf or send material direct to flickr on wanted87cool@photos.flickr.com


first den ever createdThe first den ever created was apparently found in Wivenhoe (courtesy of @gwendabird)

There are a couple of great videos about the late Dennis Wirth Miller – could any one let me know an appropriate postcode / location for these?

For more about Wivenhoe fact and fiction and how to get involved see here. Hoping to add the live flickr and twitter feeds this afternoon after the base level is in! So far everything is manual and very time consuming as I battle with html!!


Other stuff coming in – this from Lauren Baker (aka @tinysketchbook)

0077yf3e‘This is where, over the years, I have done the following things including but certainly not limited to: performed in a play as part of a Brownie group (in a chicken outfit), donated blood, learnt to swing dance, and dressed up as three fourths of The Beatles.’


Well the Wivfaf ‘build’ process has started.

Tom and Grace

Tom and Grace

Nothing live yet – but some interesting ideas have started to emerge on the twitter feed. @realcirc were first off the block with their mini story – ‘Tom and Grace fell in love on the Quay 16 years ago. Then she had to leave.’

Over on e mail Chris Ellis ‘Swangooseswan’has sent in Swangooseswan – a typical Wivenhoe odd trio. swangoose

The map will be built in layers – a static version which I’m currently working on with existing material from the web (so Marina Warner’s fascinating article about Francis Bacon in Queens Road – part of her Memory Map project). To that we’ll add a flickr layer (any geo tagged (with a wiv address) images sent to wanted8cool@photos.flickr.com will appear. Then a third layer – a twitter feed around the hashtag #wivfaf (to appear the messages will need to have location / geo tagging switched on). Right now the html for embedding video into you tube is playing up!!

To find out more about how you can engage please do read this!


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