Coleridge Way Story Boxes
Project leader – Christopher Jelley
Project duration – 3rd June 6th September 2013
Monday 3rd June and the final of the 6 story boxes will be installed for the summer of 2013 along the Coleridge Way. The concept is simple, find one, read the story so far, add a paragraph or drawing but no more, then leave for the next walker. Return as often as you want but you cannot add more unless someone else has put their mark in the book. Books will be exhibited as part of Somerset Art Week in September as well as Coleridge Cottage later in the year. Two of the books have been started by guest Authors Jackie Morris, (Author Illustrator) and Taffy Thomas (UK’s first Storyteller laureate), and endorsed by Rosemary Middleton, a direct descendant of Coleridge himself.
Taffy Thomas http://www.taffythomas.co.uk/
Above the house where she lives is a rare thing, a dark sky where stars are clear and visible, and every night she walks, watching the moon wax and wain and the stars turn across the ocean of air.
Taffy is the patron of The Society for Storytelling. Taffy received The English Folk Dance and Song Society Gold Badge award in December 2010. With Taffy’s head bursting with stories, riddles and folklore, professional storyteller Giles Abbot once commented, “when Taffy goes it will be like a library burning down.”
With only 6 boxes and 36 miles of way marked trail I found it quite difficult to identify locations which championed the ideals of the Romantic poets and were also relatively easy to access. But I feel that I have managed just this, with Coleridge Cottage (National Trust) hosting the first in their Lime Tree Arbour at Nether Stowey.
The second box is a short walk along the Coleridge Way from Nether Stowey, and it is the first section of the trail which takes you away from vehicles and roads, giving you a better taste of the natural beauty of Somerset.
This box is along Watery Lane, a very aptly named place as the stream runs along most of the track and actually becomes the path in parts! Just where the foot path separates from the water I have located this journal, with full permission from Quantocks ANOB park ranger Owen Jones. There is no natural bench, or panoramic view point but then the tunnel of undergrowth, the trickle of the brook, and relaxed resonance of this place lends itself perfectly to the pen.
At the other end of the Coleridge Way sits box three at the Jubilee Hut, Webbers Post, which is just under Dunkery Beacon. There is a large amount of parking here, hundreds of paths to follow or cycle, just follow the Coleridge Way signs through the Sculpture Trail and you’ll find the hut. (Also QR Poetry slates here too)
Journal four is at Horner Garden Tea Rooms, so grab yourself a cream tea put up your feet and then pick up the pen. This box has some paints in as well so you can add a little illustration into the storyline.
The five is at the end of the current trail, Porlock Visitor Centre, who proudly state they are England’s friendliest visitor centre. Boxes are out in the wild all summer long, with a detailed map at http://www.storywalks.info.
Box six is a secret (I have decided at the eleventh hour to change this one as I felt the approved location was a little too vulnerable.) check the website for info.
Follow at Twitter.com/storywalks, and FaceBook/storywalks and read the blog at Coleridgeway.blogspot.co.uk
QR Code Poetry – Key stage II pupils responding to the environment through literacy and poetry, rendered into QR codes, then laser etched onto slate and installed along the trail. June 2013 image below of Dunster First School creating QR poetry at Conygar Tower, Dunster just before Easter this year. Installation of QR slates due in the next few weeks with maps and details on the Coleridge Way section of the Storywalks website
Fly Catchers – putting Coleridge’s hand writing digitally back into the landscape which inspired him using the innovative storywalk engine. Travel to specified location to reveal manuscript on your smart phone or tablet. Summer 2013
More info on my storywalks.info website, just follow the tab to Coleridge.
Project Sponsors – Storywalks, ArtLife, and EDF Energy.
With further support from Horner Garden Tea Rooms, Cider House B&B (Nether Stowey), Porlock Visitor Centre, Quantocks ANOB, National Trust Coleridge Cottage and Holinicote Estate, Dunster Crown Estate, National Park Authority, and Forestry Commission.
High quality copies of these images and more are available from this link http://ow.ly/lh7PY
XIX West St, Dunster,
01643 821657 07751609198