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Western Waterway

About the film

The Bristol Avon from its Cotswolds source, though old Bristol, to the large port at Avonmouth.


Release year
Production company
BS Productions
Alfred Leyton
Alvar Liddel
Sound recording
W. Bland
Running time (minutes)
10 mins 20 secs
Devised by
Paul Barralet

Original Description

Wiltshire’s Avon
'From its source in the Cotswolds, the Wiltshire Avon winds through quiet scenery, presently reaching Bath, a city renowned for its architecture and its healing mineral springs. The Avon flows through industrial Bristol, gateway to the Americas. Beyond Bristol, the river broadens; seven miles downstream are the great modern docks of Avonmouth.'
(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1941)



  • There are several River Avons in the UK — Western Waterway follows the Tetbury Avon and then the Bristol Avon.
  • The “celebrated old Dutch House”, seen at 04:35, was damaged in an air raid on 24th November 1940 and the remains pulled down shortly afterwards. It is thus suspected that this footage was filmed in mid November 1940 — shortly before the house was bombed — suggested by the wreaths on war memorials.
  • The SS Arabistan, seen towards the end of the film, was sunk by a German Raider in 1942, with only one reported survivor.