Village Outings - Cockling at Wells

  • Theme - Leisure
  • Year - 1950
  • Location - Norwich
  • Filmmaker - Geoffrey Campling


This clip is from Norwich HEART's 2011 archive film production, 'Pleasure of Leisure', a collection of archive films showing how East Anglians and Normans spent their leisure time on both sides of the Channel in the 1920s-60s.

The original film shows the people of Alpington’s annual visit to Wells-next-the Sea for cockling in the 1950's. Cameraman, Geoffrey Campling, records the daytrippers arrival at Wells by coach and films them as they head onto the beach. There is much merriment as people climb into boats, ready to be ferried out to the cockle beds. Men roll up their trouser legs and women tuck up their skirts, as the cockles are dredged from just below the sand. Wells has long been a popular destination for cockle pickers and still receives many tourists each year.

Geoffrey Campling was a keen amateur filmmaker, who recorded numerous films about people in Norfolk. This film was made for a friend of his, who ran a local pub. It was later screened in the village hall at Alpington, to all of those who had taken part in the outing. The East Anglian Film Archive has a larger collection of Campling's films.


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