New film being shot in Littleport will shed light on the secret world of horse-whispering

The set for the new Horseman's Word film

The set for the new Horseman's Word film - Credit: Archant

Production has started on a new film documenting the highly secretive world of heavy horse keeping in East Cambridgeshire and the Fens.

The film, called ‘The Horseman’s Word’, is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and is being made by the Littleport-based Field Theatre Group.

No strangers to film production, the group previously created the documentary ‘Common Ground’ which explored life in rural Fenland at the turn of the last century.

This time around the Field Theatre Group are working with cinematographer Peter Harmer to delve into the world of horse trainers, blacksmiths and ploughmen to document their rituals, superstitions and tricks of the trade more than 200 years.

The film making process will involve a considerable amount of historical research and the final production will help ensure that this significant part of our local and national history is preserved for the future.


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Shooting has already taken place at the Adams Heritage Centre in Littleport which was meticulously transformed into an old saddlery shop for the occasion.

Over the next couple of months the cast and crew will also be filming on location in Colchester and at Wicken Fen.

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Nathan Jones, of ADeC, who is helping manage the project, said: “The Field Theatre Group have a magical touch for bringing the past back to life and play a vital role in encouraging us all to take a closer look around and reflect on how the landscape and those who inhabit it have changed over time.

“The group would like to hear from anyone who has a good story to tell about working life with heavy horses and many fascinating items have already been unearthed.

“These include several previously unseen original horsemen’s note books, containing recipes, remedies and even one or two spells and charms.”

The Horseman’s Word film forms part of a larger project established to document the social history and folk practices of the legendary ‘horse whisperers’ of East Anglia. There will also be workshops, talks and exhibitions. If you wish to get involved in any aspect of the film contact thefieldtheatregroup@hotmail.co.uk

To find out more about the Horseman’s Word project visit www.fieldtheatregroup.btck.co.uk or visit their Facebook page (Field Theatre Group) for filming updates.

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