Waters of time

United Kingdom, 1951

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Produced for the Festival of Britain, this film combines a series of impressions of life along the 69 miles of the Thames from the mouth of the river to Kingston. The camera explores the wharves and warehouses of the waterfront; the docking of a ship; loading and reloading of its cargo; aerial views of the port; busy activity in the holds of the ships; wine cellars in warehouse basements. In the factual passages of the film the commentary is spoken by a dockmaster and docker; in the remainder of the film, the commentary is in prose and verse.



Basil Wright

production company

International Realist






Black and White

ACMI Identifier


Subject categories

Agriculture, Business, Commerce & Industry → Docks

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → England - Description and travel

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Great Britain - Description and travel

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Great Britain - Social life and customs

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Thames River (England)

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Cargo handling

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Docks

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Shipping


Documentary → Documentary films - Great Britain

Places → Thames River (England)

Short films

Short films → Short films - Great Britain




16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

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If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url=https://acmi.net.au/works/74529--waters-of-time/ |title=Waters of time |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=27 January 2021 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}