Sea-change: Wivenhoe Remembered

by Peter Kennedyfirst published in Wivenhoe News – Winter 2006

“Packed out” is all one can say about the attendance at the Sailing Club on 5 October 2006 for the double launch of Wivenhoe’s community oral history project’s book and DVD.  The Rev David Thomas, Chairman of the project, introduced the launch, saying “We thought there’d be a few of you, we didn’t realise there would be so many, but it’s a pleasure to see all of you here!”  

This has been very much a community project, David said, and a tremendous number of people have been involved.  He particularly wished to thank Brenda Corti who has done all the administration, and Paul Thompson who has directed the project; “but the spirit of Ernie Vince pervades this room and pervades Wivenhoe � so I should like to dedicate this evening to his memory.”


Professor Paul ThompsonThen Paul Thompson said “This is the culmination of two and a half year’s work … we’ve had high quality professional help, and an outstanding transcriber in Marion Haberhauer.  A selection of interviews has been used for the book but more will appear month by month with Peter Hill’s help on the Wivenhoe website … Wivenhoe is full of historians: personal historians, boat historians, club historians … what you see tonight is the fruit of a collective endeavour.”

Everyone trooped upstairs to watch the DVD.  I counted one hundred people and more in the audience.  Andy Attenburrow, one of the makers of the DVD, introduced the film and he praised John Wolton who had composed and recorded the musical score.  The film is a beauty, lovely to watch, full of incident, personal testimony, and arresting scenes of both historic and present day Wivenhoe.  It was received with delight, everybody enjoyed it, and it was rewarded with enthusiastic applause.

The book Sea-change: Wivenhoe Remembered, published by Tempus, is an absolute corker.  It has been beautifully produced, replete with sparky anecdotes, and it gives a portrait of the changing scene: the farms, fishing and sailing, the shipyards, the shops and pubs, the coming of the artists and the university – and much else besides.  All the interviews are marvellously evocative � all those stories and memories � and the photographic record of Wivenhoe is just fantastic.

A roaring trade was done that evening, I understand 105 copies of Sea-change were sold, and now – if you’ve not got one yet – it is available at the Wivenhoe Bookshop.

Peter Kennedy

Note:  The book and now the DVD are both available from the Wivenhoe Bookshop

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