We invite you to join us on a 1-hour walk starting at Dorset Place, Kemptown, heading along the coastline before looping back, listening to The Last Freedom (2021) conceived by Tilly Shiner. Tilly will lead the walk and there will be refreshments and chat along the way as well as a special screening of Blackwater Mouth Tollesbury Creek Jumping Ladz.
The walk will take place twice, once in the morning starting at 10.30am and once in the afternoon starting at 3.30pm. Walkers will be sent a full route in advance and headphone can be provided as necessary. The event will be 1 hour 30 minutes.
In The Last Freedom (2021), ‘Marshman’ Flavian Capes meets musician Frank Turner on a guided walk around the salt marshes in Tollesbury, Essex.
Flavian is a self confessed ‘archeology nerd’, local historian, boat builder and wild living enthusiast and has lived on boats for 30 years. His vast knowledge encompasses his personal experiences of foraging local flora and fauna, the extraordinary tidal landscape and landmarks to the local myths, pre-history and traditions of the marshes.
Frank is a punk-folk singer songwriter who has released eight albums and toured worldwide. He is a self confessed ‘history nerd’ and has recently moved to the Essex coast.
As a person with high functioning autism, Flavian uses walking and journeying to map his vast knowledge and relationship to the unique landscape around him. He leads Frank on an idiosyncratic walking guide, covering everything from hunter-gathering, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Kylie Minogue, boat building, birdsong, Popeye, Co-operatives, absinthe, jam, Red Hills, Romans, Samphire, mud walking, deer tracking, hawks, Polynesians, Bonsai, tides, pottery, salt and more.
This project is supported by the Arts Council England.
Audio recorded and mixed by House of Noise.
Graphic design by work-form.
Project conceived by Tilly Shiner.
Thank you to Jo Barratt and Eleanor Von Browne for your help and advice.
© Tilly Shiner 2021
Blackwater Mouth Tollesbury Creek Jumping Ladz (2021)
A filthy love letter to Essex, like you’ve never seen it before. In a village at the end of the road, teenage boys smothered in black mud, run wild through the vast salt marshes in a bizarre tradition hundreds of years old – ‘creek–jumping’.
Down & Dirty
Covid has heightened anxiety about cleanliness – it is a social taboo to be dirty. These teenagers throw mud in the face of social norms (literally). In this extraordinary landscape, ritually transformed by the tide, they race through the creek, hurl themselves into the sea and muse on strange local myths – Cannibalism! Shipwrecks! Nuclear power explosions! As the brink of adulthood approaches they struggle to imagine their uncertain futures but they know just how to live in the present – shoes off, mud between the toes, sun burning down, hearts thumping…
Tollesbury has a unique and unsentimental landscape of vast salt marshes and wilderness, a nuclear power station and lightship – a landscape that dramatically changes each day with the tide and each year with the seasons. At high tide, brackish water spills over onto the road, flooding unsuspecting cars and transforming their muddy playground into a new space for jumping, diving and hurling themselves into the creek.
Longing for the Mud
Creek jumping is a tradition – a shared activity that is passed on like story telling. These young people are deeply connected to their local environment through this strangely transgressive play, an invitation to plunge into their muddy world and escape and commune with nature.
Essex has a particular reputation in the British psyche. It has always been a sanctuary for outsiders and transgressors – from pirate radio stations to lone walkers and a place to escape from the capital. Always in the shadow of London and the urban environment, it is home to many idiosyncrasies, rich peculiarities and local traditions that should be championed.
This film is a love letter to a place and its people, told through the voices and bodies of the next generation.
Directed & produced by Tilly Shiner
Cinematography Jon Muschamp
Sound House of Noise
Graphic Design work-form
Music Gold Panda
Flute Infinite Livez
Made with funding by Arts Council England. Filmed in 2020 with teenagers from Tollesbury, Essex.