Imbolc Story Walk

The poster for our Story Walk round West Bank Park said it would be suitable for ages 0 to 100+. We didn’t quite manage to hit the top end of that age-range, but nevertheless, young and not-so-young alike turned out on a ‘fresh’ February afternoon for our walk to celebrate National Storytelling Week.

Patrick - West Bank Story Walk - 2.2.08 West Bank Story Walk - 2.2.08

We had a very inspiring walk through the park, with poems provided by me, and stories by … well, take a look below.

When we got to the ponds, Catherine (with assistance from some little helpers) told us a fascinting story from Lincolnshire about TiddyMun:

West Bank Story Walk, Tiddy Mun

Aidan’s grandma told us 2 stories, one about a fallen oak tree …

Telling us the fallen oak tree story, 2.2.08

… which inspired great curiousity amongst the children:

Children by a fallen tree - Story Walk - 2.2.08

As did her story about the Green Man:

The Green Man - 2.2.08 Story Walk

We also learned about the history of the park, and that it had been a plant nursery for over a hundred years:

Learning about the history of the park, 2.2.08

I finished the walk off at the Story Tree, with a poem about the seasons:

Me reciting a poem at the Story Tree

And thence to hot drinks and delicious cakes in the park cafe!

Our audience was very appreciative, and suggested we put on similar walks again at other times of the year. It turns out that today is the Celtic festival of Imbolc, which is half-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. So, it was suggested that we meet up again for story walks on other Celtic festival days. A very good idea!

In the Irish calendar, today is the first day of Spring. And by the time we left the wood, it really did look like it, with blue sky and sunshine lighting up the trees.

West Bank Park in the sunshine - 2.2.08

A big Thank You to Catherine Heinemeyer for her vision and hard work in setting up this wonderful walk. I was not the only one to have enjoyed it enormously.

And thank you to Stephen Whittaker of City of York Council for supporting the event. Let’s hope it’s the first of many such story walks in the park

Anneliese Emmans Dean –

One comment

  1. Thank you to everyone who helped organise this storytelling event, in which Tabitha (aged 2) and I (a bit older) had a wonderful time. We thought the tongue twister February rhyme by Anneliese was a great way to warm up (and wake up too, in Tabitha’s case) on such a cold day. Singing about ‘Compost’ was a new experience, as was hearing about the history of West Bank Park. Catherine impressed us with her gutsy and eloquent recounting of the myth of TiddyMun. Tabitha would like to go back to visit the ‘green man’ again and I imagine we’ll go and watch future tree carvings in person. It is a shame that Tabitha’s older brother Ollie was otherwise engaged because we suspect he’d have found the Valentine’s poem the funniest thing ever. Definitely count us in next time!

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