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Stories from Stanley

24 October 2008

A very special storytelling day for adults and children is taking place at one of Historic Scotland’s newest sites.

Stanley Mills in Perthshire is inviting locals to attend a storytelling day featuring stories, singing, tea and cakes on Saturday 1 November. It will be the highlight of a project which has been running throughout October.

Pupils from Auchtergaven, Murthly, Ruthvenfield and Stanley Primary Schools have been taking part in the Story Explorer Project, organised by Historic Scotland and the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Sparking the children’s imaginations, the project looked at stories around Stanley Mills and used this special location and the characters who worked in the mill to inspire the children to create their own stories – and how to spin a good yarn!

Pupils meet professional storyteller, Claire Hewitt, where they were introduced to the art of telling a tale through stories and songs. They were then encouraged to develop ideas for their own tale through games and drawings.

The storytelling day will see the four winning stories chosen from each school class and the winners invited to tell their stories at the Mill. There will also be the opportunity to hear some of the fascinating stories from ex-workers at Stanley Mills.

Fiona Davidson, Historic Scotland education officer at Stanley Mills, said:

“This has been a fantastic project for local children to be involved in. The storytelling workshops have been great and have really inspired kids to go home and write their own stories.

“Stanley Mills is an atmospheric site, and the workshops really inspired the children’s imaginations. We are all looking forward to hearing some of the winning stories.”

Claire Hewitt, professional storyteller, added:

“This has been an incredibly exciting project for me on many levels. My family had links with cotton mills and tailors in Yorkshire and I have brought this into my work with the children. There is a treasure of stories waiting to be told about Stanley Mills and I would like to use this project to inspire ex-workers and the local community into telling their own tales.

“This storytelling day is sure to be a great event and I am really looking forward to seeing the children enchant everyone with their totally unique site specific stories.”

The event takes place on Saturday 1 November from 1.30pm to 3.00pm.

Notes to Editors

  • The Storytelling event is a free event but usual admission charges to the site still apply. Parents of children who are performing and former workers of the Mill will have free access to the site.

  • Admission charges for Stanley Mills are Adults £5.00, Children £2.50 and Concessions £3.75. There is also the Stanley Club Membership scheme. Single membership costs £9.00 for a year and includes admission for 1 adult and up to 6 children. Joint membership costs £16.00 for a year and includes admission for 2 adults and up to 6 children.

  • Stanley Mills opened to the public in Easter 2008. The visitor centre includes a state-of-the-art education area over two floors which have been designed to allow schools and educational groups to carry out a wide variety of study projects.

  • Stanley Mills is seven miles north of Perth. The former water mill complex harnessed the power of the River Tay for cotton spinning. The first mill was built in 1786 and the last commercial operations ended as recently as 1989. It was the first example of Arkwright’s factory system in Scotland.

  • The visitor centre features exhibits and displays, many interactive and using the latest technology, to tell the story of the mills and those who worked there. These include demonstrations of how water mills work as well as sound – and smell – effects to give a sense of what conditions were like. Objects and equipment from the mills are also on display.

  • The Stanley Mills project was part funded with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Gannochy Trust and Scottish Enterprise Tayside.

  • The Scottish Storytelling  Centre is a brand new building designed by Malcolm Fraser Architects, half way along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. The Centre includes John Knox House, the Netherbow Theatre, the George Mackay Brown Library and the Storytelling Café, as well as a free public exhibition, Scotland’s Stories.

  • Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties and sites in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae.

  • Historic Scotland’s mission is to safeguard the nation’s historic environment and to promote its understanding and enjoyment.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations


For further information

Laura Varney
PR Executive
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8959 or 07769 630 763