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Calne Tale Trails

Everyone loves a story{ a tale of mystery, a personal tale, a sad story. Well, at least we in the Wordfest Writers' group do and we want to share our love of stories with the rest of the community. We want to help Calne tell its own stories.

So, Wordfest is building a Tale Trails project. A permanent collection of stories set in, inspired by, and about Calne and the surrounding area told by the people of Calne.

A Tale Trail is a set of stories around a theme which the listener finds by walking around Calne following the trail on their phone or tablet and spending a few minutes listening to the story in or near the place that the story relates to. A bit like an audio guided tour of a museum. Except that Calne is a living, thriving trove of tales that we want to release into the wild.

How are we going to do this? Well, the first thing we have to do is to develop a web-app (a web- application) through which you can access the trails and tales. The web-app has a couple of features which we think are important. First it's web-based, which means that you don't have to download it. You can just open it, when you want to access it, and close it, when you've finished. The second is that it is proximity activated. When you are near a designated location, you'll be able to find all the Calne tales associated with that location, a bit like finding somewhere to eat on Google maps.

We're developing this web-app now, thanks to a grant from the Town Council. We're hoping it will be ready around the beginning of September.

Once it's ready we're going to launch our first Tale Trail, which will take you around Calne's 10 Blue Plaques. For each of the plaques local writers have written and recorded two tales: one factual telling you why the plaque is there; and a second tale which will be a bit more imaginative or evocative relating to the time that the blue plaque relates to. For example, at the Wharf there is a tale telling you about the wharf's history, and another about one of the wharf-keepers. He was James Brinkworth and as you can see from the advert from 1881 he was a salt and coal merchant, but he was also a bit of a hero. You'll have to follow the trail to find out why.


However, we're leaving a couple of these tale slots empty and we're going to ask for your help filling them. Watch this space.

When the first tale trail is up and running, then we're going to spread the net a little more widely and start collecting your stories. We'll be looking at different themes, for example "Growing up in Calne", "Working in Calne" over different decades to make sure we reach all the generations. And then maybe some more imaginative tales "Mystery Tales of Calne", or "How Santa Came to Calne." We'll be reaching out to different groups of people, both formal and informal groups, old and young, to gather their tales of Calne and the surrounding area. We'll be celebrating different times of the year: the seasons, the festivals and the events, all inspiring your stories.

We'll be going out and helping people to tell and record their stories. Over the years we will build up an archive of tales that tell the story of Calne through the words and voices of its residents, that is you.

We're very excited and we hope you will be too.


Steve Walters



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