the video version…

the kamishibai version…

The two hills of Wrekin and Ercall
dominate the Shropshire skyline today.

But once Shropshire was a flat, empty plain.

Then along came two giant brothers,
they dug a trench and built a hill.
The trench filled with water
and became the River Severn.

But which brother
would have the hill as his home?
They fell to fighting.
Then Ercol threw his spade at his brother…

… His brother ducked,
And the spade cut the Needles Eye in the hillside.
Down flew a raven and pecked Ercol’s eye.
His tears formed a pool called the Raven’s Bowl.

Ercol fell down beside the hill.
His brother covered him with earth.
You can still hear him moaning today.
And the triumphant brother gave
his hill his name, Wrekin.

How the story was created…

This is the lesser-known version of the making of the Wrekin, which also explains how the nearby River Severn was created. Joseph found a simplified version that had been collected in the mid 1800s at Shropshire Archives to use as the basis of this telling.
The better-known creation myth can be found here, and information about making and using kamishibai here.

This story was brought back to life by young people as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded Young Roots project. They researched in Shropshire Archives and the local history collections to find records of stories they felt should be part of the region’s oral heritage. The project was facilitated by Mythstories museum and supported by Shropshire Archives and Telford & Wrekin Libraries.

Why the project came about…

The Club met in Wellington. It is Shropshire’s oldest market town at the foot of The Wrekin with its Hillfort. It is also part of Telford, a still-evolving late-20th century ‘New Town’. As one club member said:

“They have pulled down my primary school, my secondary school is being rebuilt, the Colleges are merging next year. There will be nothing left of my childhood!”

So Club members decided to research and retell some of the stories of Wellington, to fill the void between the past and the present.

Victorian Wellington

Seven Stories told by the Away With Words Storytelling Club

a “Young Roots” project funded by…