Storytelling at Mannington Hall August 2015

On the August 16th, I went to Mannington Hall for their fairy tales and fables day. As part of this event, I got to have my first forays into storytelling a public speaking. The whole way there, mum kept asking ‘are you nervous yet?’ and I was just like ‘no,’ because OMG I GET TO TELL STORIES AND CHAT TO PEOPLE ABOUT FOLKLORE AND I KNOW IT WILL BE AWESOME.
 
And it was.
Not only is Mannington a beautiful estate, it’s also a perfect place to tell stories. I mean, just look at this hall! So fairy tale/fantasy-esque!

I was given a a room at the back to give a short talk about the history of fairy tales (which you can watch on my YouTube channel), and this had a set of doors which led out to a small garden by the side of the moat. The garden is where l told stories. My friend came along and he was an excellent camera man, and managed to record my rendition of The Baba Yaga and take some clear photos:


Here’s my itinerary:

All three stories were very well-received. I don’t think anyone had heard them before, which I loved. I purposely chose lesser known fairy tales, and it was so rewarding to see the audience genuinely captivated. My favourite moment was after ‘White Bear King Valemon,’ when one family went rushing out to the front of the house to look under the bridge for the troll-hag!

Inside the hall, Lady Walpole and I put together a display of fairy tale books from both of our collections. They received a lot of attention, especially after I gave the talk.


One woman also came up to me and said that I had inspired her to tell more fairy tales to her grandchildren, and be more creative with them. I smiled and thanked her, but inside I was just melting with joy. All I want out of life is to talk to people, help them, and make a difference. However small. This woman proved that I could do that with stories. She gave me hope, and I made up my mind then and there to do more events like this one.

Aside from my little area, there was also a fabulous children’s book stall run by North Norfolk Children’s Book Centre. They had dragons:

And of course, I bought some books. Sorry not sorry:

Outside in the gardens, little metal fairies made by the talented Baron at Wolterton Forge were hidden in various places. Lots of people followed the fairy trail, and found cuties such as these:


Local hospices came and set up stalls, too. In total, over £300 was raised to support them. Fairy tales and helping charity – what a great combination! Thank you to Lord & Lady Walpole for hosting the event, and for letting me be a storyteller. And thank you to everyone who came and generously supported the hospices.

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Amelia Starling is a writer and folklorist. She graduated from the University of Winchester with a degree in Creative Writing, and is Senior Editor for Folklore Thursday. She loves travelling and collecting stories, and spent 15 months living in Japan doing this alongside teaching English. Currently she is studying for a masters degree in Ethnology & Folklore at the University of Aberdeen. Amelia blogs about folklore and fairy tales at The Willow Web. You can follow her on Twitter @amyelize.

2 thoughts on “Storytelling at Mannington Hall August 2015

  1. Congratulations!! I'm so impressed that you didn't get nervous, I would have been TERRIFIED!!! And so glad that so many people responded to your stories, especially that woman with grandkids! So inspired by you 🙂

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