This page is our opportunity to share with you the progress we make in this exciting community project. There will be regular updates posted below with reports detailing what is going on, please visit again soon.
Tuesday 5th February 2019
And the young storytellers club at Newtown Library begins...
Building a bionic storyteller who has it all; first thoughts.
Saturday 26th January 2019
To mark the opening day of National Storytelling Week Amy was at Newtown Library again to deliver free storytelling showcase and taster session open to all.
While the stories flowed over the two days she posed a good many tricky riddles. She was delighted to receive a few new ones too, which she'll add to her already extensive repertoire.
Here are two from Newtown pupils for you to try... I am planting dead trees, why? ... I have no wings, but I can fly - I have no eyes, but I still cry - Who am I?
(answers at the foot of the page)
Friday 25th January 2019
Amy Douglas was in Newtown Library today performing to visiting groups from Hafren Junior School & Treowen Primary School.
We'd like to thank Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council for funding these library taster sessions to show pupils what to expect from the after school Storytelling Club which will begin at the library on Tuesday 5th February at 4.00pm.
Thursday 17th January 2019
Storytelling Tutor, Amy Douglas was busy today enthralling pupils at Abermule Community Primary School in the morning and pupils at Penygloddfa Primary School in the afternoon.
There were stories and riddles to tempt the young people to become members of the Newtown Library Storytelling Club. We are counting down the days until the first meeting, which will take place in just 19 days time.
There are more taster events to come too, with a Storytelling Day at Newtown Library for visiting school groups on Friday 25th January and an open session for children, again at Newtown Library, at 11.00am on Saturday 26th January.
We'd like to thank Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council for funding the taster sessions taking place in their council area.
Tuesday 8th January 2019
Fiona Collins from Caffi Stori Llangollen has been very busy devising and arranging excursions to the story sites for club members so they can photograph and research the lie of the land and the pertinent topographical features.
In the course of her web study of the locations she came across a web page about Ysgafell Farm and Cae Bendith (the Field Of Blessing). It was a reprint of an article and accompanied by a line drawing of the Field of Blessing (above right).
Comparing and contrasting this illustration with the drawing by J. R. Lloyd Hughes from "The Enchanted Wood" will give us crucial clues to locating the field itself during the site visit.
Monday 17th December 2018
Monday morning is always in need of something different. And this Monday morning Caersws Primary School got a taster session from Storytelling Tutor Amy Douglas.
There were riddles to ponder and stories of awe and wonder.
Leaflets were left to publicise the launch of the storytelling club at Newtown Library on 5th February 2019.
Having savoured the flavour let's hope we've won the hearts of a few recruits.
Thursday 6th December 2018
This morning we received a telephone call from a gentleman responding to the article about the project featured in the County Times. It asked, "Do you remember this book?"
Suffice to say that he did, and fondly! As a pupil at Aberhafesp Primary School in 1959 he had enjoyed the stories from "The Enchanted Wood and Other Stories", and could still recall them to this day.
His daughter had read the book at Newtown High School many years later, and now he was looking forward to sharing the stories with his grandchildren.
Our conversation also allowed me to get much closer to identifying the site of "The Field Of Blessing" at Ysgafell farm near Newtown, and also allowed me to trace this image of some preserved ears of corn from that miraculous field. The photograph appeared nearly 300 years after the ears flourished in, yes, you guessed, The County Times.
Wednesday 5th December 2018
We're delighted to say that now the team is complete for the Newtown Library Storytelling Club with the appointment of Helen Kozich as the Club Facilitator.
Helen is an accomplished visual artist and creative educator and her skills will complement Amy's storytelling prowess perfectly. Dez was meant to photograph the first working meeting of the team today but got carried away making the spicy sweet potato and pasta soup so instead we're featuring his favourite image of Helen's artwork, "Little Wind Goddess" which forms part of the MOMA, Machynlleth Collection.
After much productive plotting and planning we're looking forward to launching the club in February.
Thursday 29th November 2018
As luck would have it Gwyneth from the Llanfair Institute popped in today and we were able to quiz her about the locations of two of the stories in The Enchanted Wood.
Thanks to Gwyneth's local knowledge we've managed to pinpoint Wtra Wen (White Lane) Inn where Mac the Packman came to no good end.
Also the whereabouts of Plas Rhiwhiraeth where the sound of Einion's harp rang about the house is no longer a mystery to us.
We're really looking forward to a field trip to Llanfair Caereinion with the Llangollen Caffi Stori crew. You never know we might track down the hall of Little Gwion who spent a year and a day stirring Ceridwen's magic cauldron.
Tuesday 13th November 2018
Newtown Library is just the right place for the new storytelling club; warm, friendly, full of spaces for break-out sessions and room for a group workshop, all the local history reference books, a marvellous collection of old maps in the Trysorau Maldwyn and, most importantly, librarians Maureen and Kate.
We got together for a planning meeting and decided to start the club next February, Tuesday February 5th 2019. Maureen, Kate and Amy will be running a special storytelling day for schools on Friday 25th January and Amy will also be telling stories at the library's community morning on Saturday 26th January 2019.
Saturday 10th November 2018
at Young Storyteller of Wales Venue Cymru, Llandudno...
We met up with Story Circle, Bangor Storytelling Soc. and members of Llangollen Caffi Stori to get to know each other and pass on exciting stuff like photo release forms and volunteer timesheets.
Much more excitingly we were delighted when Jacob Williams, chair of Bangor University Stortelling Society and a Mythstories trustee, won the title Young Storyteller of Wales 2018.
Wednesday 31st October 2018
We are delighted to announce that storyteller Amy Douglas has accepted the challenge of becoming the Young Storytellers' Tutor for our new Young Storytellers club in Newtown.
Amy has been a professional storyteller all her working life. She has a life-long love of the stories of the mid-Wales border area and a track record of working to prepare young contestants for the Young Storyteller of the Year competitions.
Friday 26th October 2018
The press release is issued announcing the grant...
Do you remember this book? It was commissioned by the Montgomeryshire Teachers’ History Committee and given out to pupils in Montgomeryshire’s schools in 1947 as part of their lessons in local history.
Now Mythstories, a museum of myth and fable based in Wem, has been awarded a grant of £29,900 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to lead a team of volunteers who will be using the folktales in this book to create a resource more suitable for today’s classrooms.
The volunteers include members of Llangollen’s Caffi Stori, children at Llandudno’s Story Circle and students from Bangor University Storytelling Soc.
Key to the project’s success will be a new club for young storytellers which will start in Newtown in the New Year. ‘We are looking for young people, about 10 – 13 years old, who enjoy stories and would like to learn how to tell them.’ says Ali from Mythstories. ‘They will be trained by a professional storyteller at a weekly after-schools club at Newtown Library. The library also houses the Trysorau Maldwyn and the apprentice storytellers will also be guided in researching these documents to add authenticity to their stories. We will be using lots of arts and crafts techniques to help the stories flow. And later in the year we will be running workshops in stage performance for young people at Theatre Hafren’. The project will create an on-line resource, including films of the young storytellers telling their versions of the tales.
‘Thanks to a Community Grant from Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council over the next few months there will be storytelling performances in local schools to recruit members for the storytelling club’.
If you are a young person who would like to be involved in the project – or an older person who has memories of ‘The Enchanted Wood and Other Stories’ by A J Bailey Williams that they would like to share; please contact Mythstories. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07969 541552.
These stories are Montgomeryshire’s stories and now’s the time for Newtown’s young people to step forward and preserve these stories for generations to come.
Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF in Wales, said: “So much of our local history is woven into people’s reminiscences and experiences. The Montgomeryshire Folktales project will capture these elements of our shared history that is in danger of disappearing as it slips out of human memory. Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to support such projects that conserve people’s contribution to their heritage.”
Riddle answers - 1. I am building a fence. - 2. A raincloud.