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Longdendale Tales Celebration

October 13, 2023

A unique immersive event to showcase the history of the Longdendale reservoirs

Local podcast presenter and aural storyteller, Clare Savory is celebrating her Longdendale Tales Pairings Project with a once-in-a lifetime immersive experience  which showcases the findings.

The one day event will bring together maps, books, film footage, soundscapes and even songs that tell the stories behind the Longdendale Reservoirs and surrounding landscapes.

Glossop Creates commissioned Clare for the residency programme and paired her with the Peak District National Park. As a storyteller, Clare based her research on taking a  deeper look into the lesser known tales of the chain of five Reservoirs which  snake from Tintwistle through to Woodhead.

After researching for many months, discovering stories -  including whispering chimneys, plane crash survivors, world firsts and UFO sightings - and walking the well-trodden paths of the reservoirs, Clare pulled together all of her research  into an online hub, which can be found at

But on Saturday 30th September from 10am - 2pm, at the Longdendale Environmental Centre in Tintwistle, Clare is opening her findings to the public for anyone who would like to view the historical images, maps and books, listen to the soundscapes collected or view film footage which has been created to illustrate the podcasts that Clare produced as part of her project.

Clare said: “The artefacts that have been collected for this project are truly incredible - from books found in the USA and maps dating back to 1872, to collections of flint found at crowden, poetry, and songs that the Irish navvies would have sung when they built the Woodhead Tunnel, anyone attending the event can see, hear and feel parts of history that tell the story of this fascinating part of the Peak District.

“Throughout the day, attendees will have the opportunity to listen, watch and read some of the stories - old and new - of Crowden, Woodhead, Hadfield, Padfield, Tintwistle, Arnfield and Hollingworth. We've films, podcasts and a whole library of material tracking the changes in the area from the 1800s onwards.”

The Old Engine Shed at the centre will be transformed into a cinema for the day, where Clare will showcase footage made for the project by local filmmaker Owain Paciuszko. Owain was commissioned to make the films to illustrate the podcasts that Clare produced which tell the stories behind the reservoirs and their history.  

The event will also be attended by local historians and archaeologists who will be on hand to discuss the findings and answer questions, plus other creatives involved in the project, including local printmaker Lauren Riley - who created the logo and artwork for the Longdendale Tales project, based on a Victorian book by Thomas Barlow, the Bard of Longdendale - and artist and actor Cordelia Howard who voiced and narrated some of the  pieces produced by Clare.

Matt Ross at Peak District National Park said:  "Longdendale Environmental Centre is run by the Peak District National Park, in partnership with United Utilities. The centre team runs school visits, nature walks and wellbeing sessions designed to connect local people with nature and the special qualities of the national park. They are currently running a series of Community Muck-in days, providing a chance for participants to have a go at some conservation tasks. As well as  improving the area for nature, this is also a great way to be physically active and meet new people!

“There will be something for all abilities, as well as family activities and refreshments. One of these sessions will be running alongside the Longdendale Tales event, with a chance to learn tree ID, have a go at woodland conservation, and den building available for families."

Clare concluded: “Whether you're a fan of folklore, a podcast fan, or simply looking for a fun day out, the Longdendale Tales celebration event promises an unforgettable experience. Get ready to be captivated by a day filled with magical tales, exciting activities, and a sense of community!”

The Longdendale Tales Celebration will take place on Saturday 30th September, 10:00 AM, United Utilities Bottoms Office in Tintwistle, SK13 1HS

The event to celebrate Clare’s Pairing project is the first of three that showcase the findings from Glossop Creates’ 2023 Pairings residencies - look out for events by Liam Hopkins and his project with Glossopdale Furniture Project, and Tim Campbell-Green who was paired with The Living Room and pioneered the Glossop Big Dig.