Storytelling Festival a real page turner

Marjorie Leithead with young listeners in the dining room during Gunsgreen story telling festival
Marjorie Leithead with young listeners in the dining room during Gunsgreen story telling festival

On Saturday, October 21, stories came to life at Gunsgreen House in the famous mansion house’s first ever Storytelling Festival.

The event was part of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, set up by the Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh. Dr Donald Smith, centre director was pleased to hear about the event at Gunsgreen, and having visited the house before he helped plan a timetable as well as booking special German guest Svenja Kruger to come down for the day.

With a contingent of eight professional storytellers as well as local faces, there was plenty to wet everyone’s appetite, with stories set to entertain kids (and big kids!) of all ages.

The day was a great success, with the five storytelling spaces packed out with visitors joining in with the fun.

There was a storytelling pirate (Callum Lykan) in the spooky cellars; Mrs Mash the storytelling cook having great fun in the Old Kitchen, Svenja Kruger telling Grimm’s fairytales; pocketful Kids doing Goldilocks and the Three Bears; Fay Waddell telling the much loved ‘Secrets of the Smugglers House’ (her own penned book on Gunsgreen House) and much more stories, music and singing throughout the house from Noel Cochrane, Donald Nelson and Margaret Christison, James Spence and Jim Aird.

In the afternoon Gunsgreen was joined by even more great talent, notably Anne Pitcher who was a firm favourite with the guests. The day was a great success and plans are to hold the festival again next year.

“It was great to see so many people enjoying the traditional art of storytelling, commented Kara ter Morsche, Events and Promotions Officer at Gunsgreen House.

“The storytellers were so good with the kids, they were all having so much fun.”

“The event was the project of local storyteller Marjorie Leithead, who was eager to see Gunsgreen used as a location for great quality storytelling.

Marjorie has been based at Gunsgreen for the last few years after gaining official accrediation at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

The event was supported by Enterprise Music Scotland, the Eyemouth and District Chamber of Trade, the Berwickshire Association of Voluntary Service and Cockburnspath and Cove Community Council Benefits Fund.