image for Talk item typeDead Flows the Don at University of Sheffield Drama Studio

Talk, Thu 2 Nov 2017


Shearwood Road,
S10 2TD


Writer, Musician and BBC Radio 3 and 4 presenter David Bramwell takes the audience on a mysterious water journey up the Don, from Doncaster where he grew up, to its source in the Pennines. Delving into Doncaster’s Roman roots and its name – which derives from the old Celtic river goddess Danu – David’s story mirrors a journey back through time. From the return of salmon to Sprotborough he travels through the heavily polluted era of Sheffield’s industrial revolution up into the Pennines to a time of pre-history when our rivers were worshiped as living goddesses. His story incorporates well worship, superstitions, a unique forest of figs along the banks of the Don, the drowned village of Derwent and Jarvis Cocker’s own adventures sailing down the Don in the 1980s in an inflatable inner tube.

The story culminates at the source of the Don, reflecting on an age of myths, when springs and wells were viewed as life- bringing portals between this world and the next. Exploring the symbolism of the well and monolith as circle and line – female and male – he draws parallels between the mythic realms of the past and the binary code that now drives the virtual realms of our digital age and the internet.

David Bramwell is a regular presenter for BBC Radio 3 and 4 and has made over a dozen programmes on subjects ranging from Ivor Cutler, murmurations of starlings and time travel to the art of public speaking. In 2017 he made, Dead Flows The Don, a 45 minute documentary about the Don, with collaborations from Hallam University’s Dr David Clarke, Ian Rotherham and author Alan Moore.

Kindly supported by Off The Shelf

“The old pagan gods, when ousted by Christianity, took refuge in the rivers, where they still dwell’” Old English saying

‘A remarkable storyteller’ Radio Times

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Event details

Dates Times
Thu 2 Nov 2017 20:00 to 22:00



Please visit the event website for ticket details

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Map reference: SK 339870  Lat: 53.37877 Long: -1.49185


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