Skip to content

2.2 Tales from the River

Uncovering a wide range of local stories about the Brecks Fen Edge and rivers including oral histories, myths and legends.

Delivery Lead Organisation: BFER team / Imogen Radford (Volunteer and Outdoor Swimming Society representative)

Project Update

November 2021

During the month of November we held two training events, the first event volunteers were given a tour of the Suffolk Records Office.

Suffolk Records Office Visit

The second event volunteers were given a tour of the Norfolk Records Office.

Norfolk Records Office Visit

To find out more about the visits click here


September 2021

Set in the beautiful Engine House at Brandon Country Park we had our second Tales from the River event with talks and an introduction to Oral History training session provided by Suffolk Archives.

Volunteers learnt how to use audio equipment which will help them when it comes to collecting stories from participants.

July 2021

Participants gathered round a table in a village hall

In early July we hosted our first event: Tales from the River: Doing research and discovering the archives at Norfolk Record Office.

In the beautiful setting of Santon Downham, The Norfolk Records Office trainer explained how to access the archives and do your own research, illustrated with examples of relevant documents/maps/material from the collection.

This training session was followed by a discussion on how volunteers can take the project forward.

No previous experience is needed to get involved, and this project is a great opportunity to develop research skills and to put them into practice delving into the rich history and wealth of memories of watery outdoor activities in the Brecks area.

We will also be training and recruiting volunteers in September. If you are interested in getting involved please email to ensure that we send you any relevant information nearer the time. And we are looking for people who have any stories, memories, folklore, old maps, photos or films about swimming and other watery recreation in the Brecks, and would be happy to talk to us about these or send us info.

Ford at Houghton Lane North Pickenham

Reproduced with thanks to Swaffham Museum

The first training session provided by Norfolk Records Office 7th July.


Potential training sessions planned for July and September 2021.


To submit your outdoor swimming photos and stories for this project click the link to head over to Imogen Radfords page:


This project aims to uncover a wide range of local stories about the Brecks Fen Edge and rivers including oral histories, myths and legends.

It will celebrate how people engaged with the rivers and how they have been used for recreation activities in the past and present.

Young people and adults will be supported to tell their stories, and these will be brought to life through exhibitions, films and story telling.


The project will involve young people and adults in gathering and celebrating stories and folklore about river recreation (especially swimming and other watery activities) in the Brecks’ rivers in the past and present, using research, oral history and gathering a variety of media.

This will all be compiled and presented in a variety of ways, including an exhibition, a film and storytelling.

A legacy of on-line content will be produced and will be formally archived.

The project will link with other projects in the region, including the NLHF supported ‘Suffolk Stories’ Project – part of the new ‘The Hold’ Record Centre in Suffolk. It will also inform and be informed by other BFER projects including Healing Waters and Celebrating River Heritage.

If you’d like to get involved in this project contact us for more information or to be added to the project mailing list:


You can find out more information over on Imogen Radford’s website:

OS Brecks