Hi, and welcome to the Fire Springs Folk Tales blog. I’m Kirsty Hartsiotis, the author of Gloucestershire Ghost Tales (with Anthony Nanson), Suffolk Folk Tales and Wiltshire Folk Tales, all published by the History Press. I’m a storyteller, a writer and, in my other life, a museum curator. These days I live in Gloucestershire, but I grew up in Suffolk. My parents still live there, near the coast, and I am a frequent visitor. As a small child I lived near Hadleigh (yes, the Suffolk one!) and, later, in Bury. I also spent time in Norfolk – but I’m sure you won’t hold that against me! I’m also the a co-author of the Ecobardic Manifesto. As a storyteller I am part of the group Fire Springs, who have produced many storytelling shows of stories from all around the world, from history, from science – and from on our own doorstep, too. My partners in Fire Springs include Anthony Nanson, author of Gloucestershire Ghost Tales (with me!) and Gloucestershire Folk Tales (and lots of other stuff including the wonderful Deep Time) and Kevan Manwaring, author of Oxfordshire Folk Tales and Northamptonshire Folk Tales and much, much more, as well as musician and storyteller David Metcalfe, storyteller Richard Selby and musician and singer Chantelle Smith.
This blog is to promote the folk tales – and the books! – by giving the background to and our own thoughts and feelings on the tales in the book and associated topics. For myself, I’m not a folklorist, nor precisely a historian – at least not in this discipline. I, like Anthony and Kevan, am a storyteller, and the tales in the books are imginative retellings of traditional tales told in the counties over the centuries. Some are very old, going back to Roman times and beyond, and some come right into living memory. And there’s always a tale behind the story.
A note on the illustrations: all the illustrations that head the blog are details from the covers of the History Press books, and I am very grateful to the artist, Katherine Soutar-Caddick, and the History Press, for letting me use them. Other illustrations are either my own illustrations to the books or my own photographs, for which I hold the copyright. Other illustrations will state their copyright.