Local fairy tales and fairy folk – an evening of storytelling 

Dr Kathryn Starnes, lecturer in international relations and folklore and Dr Mark Henderson, storyteller and collector of Peak District tales, are hosting an evening of local stories about fairies on 9th June. 

Kathryn and Mark will tell some traditional Peak District stories and then discuss the provenance of each, its distribution, its underlying significance for the societies and cultures through which it has evolved and (perhaps) ways in which it might have been updated for contemporary audiences.

Dr Mark comments: “The Peak District’s rich and varied folklore includes ghost stories, some of which we featured and discussed in our session on 12th May, tales about the Devil (who usually comes off second best against wily Peak District inhabitants), and legends from the faerie realm. Stories from the faerie realm will be the focus of our session in the small upstairs room in the Labour Club, Chapel Street, 7-30-9.30 pm on 9th June.   Belief in the fairy-folk remained common in the more isolated parts of Peak District until the mid nineteenth century, so we have some well-preserved narratives.

“Fairies can be helpful or mischievous, friendly or malevolent. We’ll give you examples of all varieties. We’ll tell you about changelings, and the value of cobwebs, and how a particular member of the faerie realm became responsible for the Derbyshire village tradition of well-dressing. But what do these old stories mean for us today? We’ll discuss that, too.

“When we talk of “fairy tales”, most people think of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel and other stories of the ilk. Do we have any versions of those stories in the Peak District? Indeed, we have at least one… and we’ll tell it – and once again, look at its significance for the modern world.

“Come along and listen and then join in the discussions!”

This event will be held at Glossop Labour Club in their upstairs room, Thursday 9th June at 7.30pm. Event listing HERE…