Haunt­ing seascapes and land­scapes

Cel­e­brat­ing the wild won­der of Nor­folk in a fes­ti­val, a book launch, a film and an ex­hi­bi­tion

EDP Norfolk - - NORFOLK ARTS - seafever­lit­er­aryfes­ti­val.com


The sec­ond Sea Fever fes­ti­val floods Wells with words from May 10 to 12. Highlights in­clude talks by for­mer Poet Lau­re­ate Sir An­drew Mo­tion, and ce­ram­i­cist (and Spit­ting Im­age pup­pet­maker) Roger Law.

The week­end at Wells Malt­ings also fea­tures Ju­lia Black­burn talk­ing about Timesong: Search­ing for Dog­ger­land, her beau­ti­ful new book ex­plor­ing pre-his­tory, psy­cho-geog­ra­phy and grief and a screening of Night Mail, the iconic film of a Royal Mail post train speed­ing through the night. Cre­ated by Benjamin Brit­ten and WH Au­den, both pupils of Gre­sham’s in Holt, it will be in­tro­duced by Holt-based film direc­tor Tony Brit­ten. Other events in­clude a his­tory of angels, a mem­oir of Wells har­bour-mas­ter, the lat­est in­for­ma­tion on cuck­oos from a Cam­bridge ex­pert, a talk on how the sea shapes our lives with the chair­man of Sheringham RNLI, a re-in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the role played by the Royal Navy in the First World War by fes­ti­val codi­rec­tor Jim Ring, an open mic po­etry ses­sion and a chil­dren’s po­etry com­pe­ti­tion.

Be­fore Sea Fever there was Po­etry-next-the-Sea and one of its founders, Kevin Cross­leyHol­land, launches his lat­est book at the fes­ti­val.

Sea­henge: A Jour­ney by Kevin Cross­ley-Hol­land and pho­tog­ra­pher Andy Raf­ferty is a book of his po­etry and pic­tures in­spired by the Ick­nield Way and Sea­henge.

Kevin Cross­ley-Hol­land reported on the dis­cov­ery of Sea­henge for BBC World Ser­vice.

“The cir­cle, stand­ing on the fore­shore and reg­u­larly cov­ered by the in­com­ing tides, con­sisted of 55 split oak trunks,” he said. “At the cen­tre was a huge oak stump, upside down.”

Re­mark­ably, sci­en­tists de­duced all the trees were felled, by bronze axes, in the spring or sum­mer 2049BC and dragged into po­si­tion with honey­suckle ropes. It would have been built on a salt­marsh, part of a com­plex in­clud­ing cause­ways and at least one other cir­cle.

“Re­cently, at a very low tide, Andy Raf­ferty pho­tographed eight up­right oak trunks that are plainly part of a sec­ond cir­cle,” said Kevin. “So what were these cir­cles? As ever we have to use what ar­chae­o­log­i­cal evidence we can, and then imag­ine. A place where body and spirit meet. A mor­tu­ary per­haps? A site for sky-buri­als? In my own se­quence of po­ems, I ap­proach Sea­henge along the Ne­olithic Ick­nield Way and then the Ped­dars Way, that plays out into the sea at Holme.”

ABOVE: This pho­to­graph of The Win­ter Gar­den at Somer­ley­ton Hall c.1840 will be on show in the WG Se­bald ex­hi­bi­tion at Nor­wich Cas­tle The Col­lec­tion of Lord Somer­ley­ton BE­LOW: Tump by An­drew Raf­ferty from Sea­henge: A Jour­ney by Kevin Cross­ley-Hol­land and An­drew Raf­ferty

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