Tales by the Ribble

“Once upon a time, in Yorkshire…”

Last Saturday Settle Stories hosted Tales by the Ribble in partnership with the Ribble River’s Trust. The day was a completely free family fun day. Its purpose to teach children about the River Ribble and get everyone involved in the arts for a free day of story fun. 

The event was my first big event at Settle Stories and my favourite day in Settle so far. The day started long before people arrived, with preparation in full swing before I’d even joined. We wrote Press Releases that featured in the Craven Herald, Lancaster Guardian and Bradford Telegraph. As well as articles in All About- the local magazine. We promoted the event on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as sending out leaflets and putting up posters on every lamppost around Settle.

On the Friday before, the lovely Charles and I went around putting up directions all around Settle and Giggleswick so everyone would find their way. The two of us and Sita did some heavy lifting to get the tents from A to B. After one last recky of the site we were all prepped and ready for the 8:30am start.

Lesson #1 – never underestimate the power of colourful bunting

Thank God for friends, family and cars! Once staff and volunteers had transported everything to the site it was time to set up the tents. Luckily, nearly everyone had done this many times before. I, on the other hand, was only used to putting up my four-man tent at Glastonbury. Soon enough the tents were up and looking pretty. The site went from an empty patch of grass to a festival setting in no time.

“Would you like to come and hear a story?”

The sun was shining and families began to join us. Some had just been walking past and some had planned to come and say hello. With it being a completely free event with no bookings, there was a moment of panic as to whether or not anyone would come! But sure enough, Yorkshire folk never do turn down anything free. Soon the craft tent was full, the micro safari being explored and audience members standing outside the show tent and peeking in.

“We’ve told stories on the grass, we’ve told stories in the tent, we’ve told stories out the back of the tricycle”

Throughout the day many many stories were told. We had two packed-out performances in our show tent from the lovely Fiona Anwin and Ian Douglas. We had interactive stories from fable arts and Miss Spellbound as well as stories for adults from our craft a personal story writers. My favourite story of the day featured a princess and a river of chocolate…

The craft tent was also a roaring success, with otters being the catch of the day. Children made their own badges that they could take away and learnt about what inhabits the river at the micro safari.

“What a fantastic day out. The kids loved it. Thank you so much!”

Seeing everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves made it all the worthwhile. The reception we got from everyone was fantastic. A lot of families stayed all day and got involved in everything that was on. I was chuffed to see so many smiling faces! A lot of people hadn't been to Settle Stories events before, so we hope to see them again. If you came along to Tales by the Ribble and want regular updates about our events, please sign up to our mailing list here. 

“I think next, it’ll be the Congo River. It’s supposed to be beautiful. Although I do doubt that it can compare to our River Ribble.”

At the very end of the day, before all the packing and folding, writers from the writing workshops shared stories they’d written having used the river as inspiration. I even read out some of my own writing- which is a first for me! Throughout the 4 week course we had heard a huge variety of writing being shared by participants. I'm going to be sharing some of them on our blog. We're also starting a regular writing group! The plan is to meet up on the first Thursday of every month- watch this space for further details! 

I thoroughly enjoyed my day from start to finish. The sun shone right through the day, with only a sprinkle of rain as we packed away. Once the heavy lifting was all finished, we transported everything back to The Joinery and finished the day how every day of hard work should finish- with a pint.

You can see more of our fab photos from the day on our Facebook page. Thank you to everyone who came along!