Thursday, 8 June 2017

Skeletal Stoats and lost stories

Trees, ghosts and forgotten churches
Hertfordshire Folkore
for the North Herts Museum

last minute reminder! Public event in Hitchin town Hall on Saturday 10th June, 
free, fun and hopefully rather strange!

I am now in Hitchin on a project for the N Herts Museum service. Sharing stories from the county's folklore - giants, highwaymen, murders and misdemeanours, and a healthy brood of ghosts, is leading my groups to start sharing new stories - or maybe old stories new discovered lurking in the woods, houses and imaginations of the county's younger residents.....

First contributions here - with many thanks to Sandon Primary School!

The Hauntings of Sandon
pages, scraps, fragments torn from a tattered book
There are stories here, secrets hidden in the shadows, tales kept in cupboards, under floorboards, in dusty boxes under dusty beds.
These are the adventures found in bold boys and brave girls and the courage of everyone


The Woods of Hidehall Farm
There is a path through the trees that will take you to a church, and old church with older churches beneath it, haunting it with the memories of lost prayers. Even the cemetery is restless, here, disturbed by the Skeletal Stoat digging bones from the graves

A fluttering bat might lead you, deep and deeper into the woods where gentle rabbits play and moles and voles forage. Foxes run in packs like wolves in these woods, where the trees are always watching

There are
Grumpy trees here,
And fruit trees,
And talking trees,
And trees walking on their roots as legs.
There are
Spooky trees here,
And shadow trees,
And purple trees,
And conker trees,
Deep and deeper into the woods
There is even a Candy Cane Tree.

These are the woods where Oscar, the last T rex hides. He saw Piers Shonks kill his cousins as dragons and since then these woods have held him safe. There are even stranger creatures than dinosaurs in the shadows under the trees

The last of the Herts Highway Robbers lurk here. You may walk into our woods. You may enjoy our old churches and ancient trees. You may wonder at our wildlife. You may walk out at the end of your visit. But you may well be missing something - just hope it is only your money!

I especially like the elegant Higwaywoman!

A street of wonders and marvels, where highwaymen loiter and a fox runs through the garden, where friendly people stand outside their houses and even the ghosts are smiling, where a horse and carriage will take you to where, or when, you want to go

Highway Robbers lived in these houses once, watching from the window, using cats and dogs and  children to spy on travellers.

Their gold is here still. Holes have been dug. Gold-siffing dogs and gold-snuffling pigs used but it has never been found
Children play in this perilous village and keep dragons as pets. They put out food for dinosaurs and nest boxes for flying carpets. When their best friends are not other children or rats they are ghosts or sometimes all three

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