• Jem Roberts

The King of Cats & Folkie Days Out!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Happy Folklore Thursday, TOB-backers!

Due to annoyances involving hospitals and other unpleasant things, we had no time to wait for the Folklore Thursday theme this week, and so we're very relieved that the theme is 'favourite tales' as that gives us over 77 to choose from! We don't really have any one favourite, but this is always a joy, so we've gone for one of the most nebulous and slight tales in our collection – THE KING OF CATS!

You're very probably well aware of this little squib about Dildrum and his surprised owners, and although we're confident we've put a very entertaining spin on it, we won't bother summarising what happens here. But we've plumped for Lancashire – with no specific area of the county – as the location for the story, as it's often pride of place in Lancashire collections, despite being popular in many other regions. 

So we can't really specify any one 'folktale day out' to compliment this wee tale – one of the very few without a definite location – but conversely, there are places in the UK we could recommend that have no specific tale attached!

Which brings us to today's request for all the folksters out there – Can you suggest any folklore-connected places in Britain that we should be recommending? Although the manuscript is currently being copy-edited as we type, we're keen to add a small section at the back of other places to visit with folklore interest. Here's a couple we're already going to include:

An afternoon – well, a pleasant hour – was spent here at the Cambridge Museum a few years ago, during research for official Douglas Adams biography The Frood, and this summer we're planning a special Tales Of Britain event in the city (hopefully at Heffer's). So far, planned events will be taking place in Bath, Ludlow, London, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Cardiff – but PLEASE do get in touch if you would like us to visit your town or city too, and we can work out a way to fund it and make it happen.

We feel a little guilty that the tales we discovered or have been recommended in Cambridgeshire were all almost wholly identical to tales found elsewhere, so we're still forever on the hunt for unique Cambridge stories (if we do get to have a second volume), but in the meantime, recommending a trip to the museum is something! It won't fill an afternoon, but there's so much to wonder at in Cambridge you won't get bored.

And then, for those who are able to travel far up to the northernost regions of the island, the Highland Folk Museum looks like an incredible place to visit, and one where we dearly hope to perform our stories one day. Particularly if it's as sunny as in the photo above!

So, those are two suggestions for a 'Further Folky Places To Visit' boxout at the end of the book, if you know of any others – and remember, they have to be unconnected to any specific story – please do let us know, and hopefully we'll be able to sneak it in.

Over to you! 

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