Miss Spellbound recently made a series of appearances in Yorkshire as part of our cross-sector collaborative work with environmental organisation, Ribble Rivers Trust. Building on our existing creative thinking and literacy programme, The Imaginarium, we work with the Ribble Life Together team to create a participative story making programme called Miss Spellbound’s River Stories.
Delivered to over 200 children and families in North Yorkshire, Miss Spellbound’s River Stories focused on developing knowledge and awareness of the wildlife and environment of the River Ribble through a magical month long installation of a section from The Imaginarium at Settle Library, a series of in- school story making workshops with North Yorkshire primary schools and a day of river themed fun with Tales By The River in collaboration with Settle Stories.
With her suitcases full to bursting with river themed story fragments, our inimitable Imaginologist, Miss Spellbound, led the children on a fantastical story journey down the River Ribble to inspire the creation of their own original stories inspired by their local river.
Along the way we met an otter who grew wings, a Kingfisher who lost his crown and a mayfly who couldn’t dance! We were even introduced to a brand new language spoken by some scary strange fish like beings on the other side of the riverbank.
Some children found their way to posting their stories in The Imaginarium’s talking post box, whilst others took them home to share and create sequels.
There is really nothing better than the privilege of sparking a child’s imagination and watching it catch flame. The children of North Yorkshire responded wholeheartedly to the wonderful natural mysteries of the River Ribble and we couldn’t have asked for better feedback than the comments we received from pupils at Giggleswick Primary School and Settle Primary School, including these:
“I loved the whole workshop and I couldn’t wait to go home and tell my little brother some of the stories. I love how Miss Spellbound acted, it really brought the workshop to life. I also loved how you weren’t over-faced by writing a whole story in a couple of hours.”
“My favourite part was basically the entire morning! I thought the morning was brilliant! The part where we were writing the stories was fun!”
“I loved looking at the story ingredients and figuring out what to choose for my story.”
“I liked that you had the freedom to write about whatever you wanted.”
“I liked it when I wrote about an otter who couldn’t swim and had to go in a boat.”
Cross sector working is one of the core principles of Fable’s participative practice and creating arts and environment projects and programmes is one of our most favourite things to do. Beyond creating a fantastic, meaningful participant experience, we’re always keen to ensure that we create work that actually works for our partners.
Miss Spellbound’s River Stories will be back in Autumn 2019.