Tales at the river's edge – to transport you to that dreamy place...

By Chris Townsend

river reflection of sky by boat club hi ref 20220520 131731 600pxA bedtime story – read out loud – works as well with grown ups as it does with children. So why not give this week’s Tale at the River Edge a go, writes Chris Townsend. (There’s also a lantern-making workshop and a ghostly walk to enjoy.)


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The telling of tales takes us back to our childhood. Real, made up, read from a book, told from memory: they return us to the days of us telling stories to our children and friends. Tell a tale to a grown up and they are transported....to that dreamy place, where you can believe the untrue for a moment or two...

Every month in Southampton, a gathering of local storytellers (some professional, some just happy to tell) meet to share such tales and keep such a tradition alive – taking you and themselves to the far reaches of the world and the far beaches and peaches of imagination.

I started tale-telling three decades back with school groups around a bonfire, meeting the Gorgon Medusa, hearing Thor's exploits with his Hammer, seeing sisters turned to Swans. Deep in the woods of the New Forest with the tree sprites watching us and lost Nordic Trolls waiting for us to bridge-cross. I found that adults and teachers enjoyed the listening just as much as the children. Certainly the magic of storytelling has been carried through to my own daughter's chosen career.

A bedtime story – read out loud – works as well with grown ups as it does with children. Give it a go... there's something about listening that reminds us of being young. But it isn't childish: it's just something that humans like to do. Yet us older ones too easily forget this. It's like a real life audio book or podcast!

So bring yourselves (and your stay-up-late children) along to the Story Club event at two great local venues with four tale tellers at each.

From 8pm at St Denys Church on Friday October 21 and 8pm St Denys Boat Club on Sat October 22. Tickets are from this link – or bring some cash on the door

Saturday also has a free lantern-making morning 11-1pm at St Denys Boat Club and a lantern and ghostly story walk from the Boat Club 5.30-7.30 pm. Just turn up for these


Tales at the Rivers Edge1

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