Coracle film and radio

The coracle men were often filmed and interviewed. Here are a selection of the films presented as a series of programmes made in a the style of 1950s television.

Coracle films

An opportunity to see some of the many films and hear rare interviews with the coracle men during the festival.

Eusty and Harry on film

Harry and Eusty historic films including Pathe News 1948, ATV Today, 1972, Look Around 1961 both films from the Media Archive of Central England at University of Lincoln, as well as a film by local historian Ron Miles.

Eusty makes a coracle

Eusty talks about making coracles – film donated by Peter Badge


Coracle World Heritage by Marion Blockley

Iron Bridge by William Williams 1780 Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

The famous painting of the Iron Bridge by William Williams, an icon of the World Heritage Site and its role in the Industrial Revolution also depicts another global heritage, that of the coracle tradition. 

The tiny hunched figure scuttling across the painting bottom right is a coracle man, symbol of a rural riverine tradition in the Gorge that goes back hundreds of years before the start of the Industrial Revolution.

The coracle may have been one of the first forms of human transport on water. It was easy to build and used locally found materials such as wood, bamboo and animal hide, waterproofed with bitumen, pitch or lacquer.

In the Himalayas they were covered in Yak Hide over a frame of willow or juniper wood, in India they used water Buffalo hide and in North America from around 1000 years ago they used Bison hide.

Marion Blockley delivers an illustrated talk on Coracle World Heritage. The talk includes home videos of coracles and coracle making in India and Vietnam by Peter Badge and includes some fascinating Vietnamese water puppets.

Conversations with Wayne Owen, relative of the Rogers family.

Wayne Owen shares memories of his family, featuring the stories of the strong women and life in Ironbridge. 

Part 1

Part 2

Coracle radio

Interviews by Ken Jones, Interviewer, © Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

Anecdotes, music and stories

Fishing for souls – A coracle Story

Mike Rust of A word in edgeways tells a story of the coracle man and the devil!

Coracle music

Garry Wiseman and Kitty Greenwood

Traditional tunes written down by John Moore and local seed man and travelling fiddler in the 1800s.

See what to look forward to at the next regatta