the video version…

the kamishibai version…

All the miners used to drink in the Wrekin Inn
and one cold, late night, one man tried to go home.
His friend tried to stop him by telling him a story.

‘Once there was a man called Jack.
After a night at the Inn he began to walk home.
He knew it was dangerous to walk home
this late. What if a Whist hound
(or even worse-Wild Edric!) caught him?
But he needed to get home to his wife.

Whilst he walked through the
Wrekin forest the mist rose.
He heard the Church Bells chime 12 …
… and whimpering!

He searched in the bushes and found…
a Whist hound! The fairy dog was huge
with savage eyes and wild, red fur.
Jack realised it wasn’t attacking him so he tried to see why.
He saw its paw was wounded so
he tore off his coat sleeve and used it as a bandage,
before walking slowly away.

The next week, Jack was walking through
the Wrekin forest again, and again the mist rose
and again he heard the Church Bells chime 12.
But this time he didn’t hear a whimper.

He heard a snarl. Jack looked up and saw…
a bear? No… a massive dog! It was Wild Edric,
leader of the Whist hounds! 

Wild Edric leapt at Jack,
but he was knocked back by
a flash of red-it was Jack’s Whist hound!
They fought with brutal blow after brutal blow
until Jack’s Whist hound bit Wild Edric’s neck.
Wild Edric fled back into the night
and Jack walked slowly away.

At the end of the story, the drunk man laughed,
‘I’ll be fine then, Wild Edric’s gone!’
But the Storyteller warned him, ‘Wild Edric is a fairy beast.
He cannot die. I’m guessing you’ve never helped
a Whist hound either.’
The next week, the storyteller looked
for the drunk man, but couldn’t see him.
‘He should have listened’, the storyteller thought,
lifting his arm onto the bar, revealing a torn sleeve.

How the story was created…

The Whist Hound is Wellington’s ‘Wild Hunt’ story, a type of tale told throughout Northern Europe. Jacob created the scenes in the pub to ‘frame’ the basic tale, which had been collected and written down in the mid-1800s.

You can find out more 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…