Week 14 – The Hunt is On!

This week’s work has involved a large scale social media appeal for people to come forward to take part in Riparian.

The message that I have sent out is as follows:

Hi, I am a local Otterton resident currently doing my final main project for my Master’s Degree in photography. 

The theme for my project is the River Otter and the telling of peoples stories that happen around it. 

These stories can be anything, from someone’s working life, where they grew up, a memory or feeling that rivers bring them or something around nature, conservation, farming or equestrian methods, history or the geology of the local area. Anything that is related to the river or has happened around the river Otter valley. 

I am looking for people to take part in the project. Participants would be asked to do an audio recording of their story, which I would conduct with them. This audio recording would then be turned into a visual arts-based story with still images and film used to enhance what’s been said. 

All of the stories would then be brought together to make a film, which would then be exhibited around local communities within the Lower Otter Valley. They would also be shown on the project’s website. http://www.riparians.co.uk  

The more emotive, informative, educational or funny the story, the better, but really anything would be of interest. Participants can take part in anonymously or have the option of being more prominent in the work. 

I am looking for people of all ages and backgrounds to take part and welcome anyone with ideas. 

If you are interested in taking part in this project, please contact me on …. or email me on rob330@hotmail.co.uk 

I would also welcome anyone willing to share this information. More than happy to discuss this in more detail. 

The last day for the recording of these stories is November 8th 2019. All participation is voluntary. 

Thank you, Rob Jones.

The above has gone to a number of social media contacts, groups and services with links to the River Otter. This includes Clinton Devon Estates, Otterton Mill, Local Schools and the Lower Otter Valley Association. I have also sent this request to the local press.

I had several responses, some showing interest in the project, others sending me beneficial information on local histories – such as

Hi Rob

What a great opportunity and subject for your Masters

As a child in the 60/70s, I was blessed to have lived in Tipton St John, Tipton Vale to be exact, overlooking the River Otter and sports filed. Went to TSJ Primary School, Anual school sports day was held in the field opposite the church behind the white house – Field as changed due to the meandering river. Great times a child. Left in 73 to Join the RAF, now seen the world and love popping back to TSJ for a pint of “otter ale” in the Golden Lion.

Also had the privilege of doing a morning and evening Paperbound – a great way to keep fit – No such thing as the internet, mobile phones, in fact never had a house phone, recall our Neighbour “Jin Rist” owning the first color TV in the street – I was allowed to watch “Match of Day” Saturday nights – Jim ran the local Football club…

Anyway, just suggesting you should consider some photos of the village from the past ( Check out TSJ facebook) “Interesting ones of the “Otter Vally Flood” & and visit of Prince Philip. Update photos could include the church, school, and retirement home – Great glass windows in the church especially if caught by the correct sunlight. 

Check out the old mill, photo attached – now draws water from the river by a large reverse screw – has to been seen to understand. East Access, just walk up the old railway line to the five arches then follow the river upstream to the mill

Best of luck


I am taking confidence in these connections, and I am now seeing the new focus of the project is helping with its dissemination. I am feeling much more positive about my FMP now.