Thirlestane Castle – Exclusive – August 5th at 7:00 pm

Thirlestane castle, and Midside Maggie

One of the finer ‘Tales of the Borders’ relates how Midside Maggie saved the Earl of Lauderdale wi’ a fine bannock.  

You can read it, renewed, in Volume 7.
And on August 5th, beginning at 7:00 pm, you can join an exclusive Wilson’s Tales visit to Thirlestane castle, where the Tale began its dramatic centrepiece.

The Project has arranged a guided tour with the castle, with, of course, some dramatisation of a Tale or two along the way.  The evening will consist of:
7pm  arrive with own picnic in grounds.
7-50 for 8pm assemble at front door for welcome and glass of bubbly.
8pm. Welcome and introductions
tour of castle stopping at  suitable spaces for;
a retelling of Midside Maggie
Background on the Duke of Lauderdale, a highly important figure in Scottish history

Limited Tickets
Sadly, there is a strict limit on the number of tickets and all places must be pre-allocated, for to be sure of a place, please visit our web shop here and purchase, or reserve a ticket.  We can accept payment in person on the night, if you prefer not to use PayPal but we MUST have a pre-allocated ticket.

Midside Maggie is one of Wilson’s own tales, and it demonstrates what a good writer he was.  A Tale to really get your teeth in to!

Go HERE to purchase your tickets

 Local retired Doctor wins playwriting prize.

 Local retired Doctor wins playwriting prize.

Berwickshire writer, Dr Michael Fenty’s reinterpretation of the “Leein’ Jamie Murdeiston” Border Tale has won the competition co-run by the Wilson’s Tales Project and Duns Playfest. This week he was presented with a commemorative artwork based on an 19th C. edition of the orginal Wilsons’s   to celebrate his win.  

Wilson’s Tales are a series of border stories written by Berwick Advertiser editor John McKay Wilson in the 1830s. The tales, many written while Wilson was living in Tweedmouth, were published by Wilson as a free standing weekly publication, which proved a run away success and they were then seldom out of print for the next 150 years. 

The Wilson’s Tales Project partnered with Duns Playfest, the annual drama festival, to present a competition for playwrights to reinterpret one of Wilson’s Tales. Part of the prize was intended to be a public performance of the winning submission, but inevitably, Covid meant those plans had to change. 

Michael’s wining work had to be premiered online. Instead of performing on stage in the Duns Players’ usual venue, The Volunteer Hall, it was filmed on a freezing day in Polwarth Church. “Not quite the premier I had envisaged ” said Michael,  adding, “While I’m amazed at what we managed to do in such difficult conditions, I’d still love to  put the play on live, as I wrote it with audience participation in mind, which, obviously we couldn’t do in a filmed version.” 

John McEwen, of Duns Playfest, commented “ Many of us have worked before with the Wilsons tales project on these border tales and it great to have a more formal arrangement of partnership for the festival, particularly given Wilson’s connection to Duns” (His father was from Duns) Andrew Ayre, from The Wilson’s Tales is also keen to repeat the cross-border creative collaboration, saying .  “There are some great tale’s in this body of work and it is wonderful that new  eyes are looking at these and presenting the tales in new and exciting ways for todays audiences”  

The play can still be watched online via the Duns Playfest website. Duns Playfest intends to return to in person performances in 2022, and you can find out more at www.dunsplayfest.org.uk/  

Wilson’s Tales run several events across the year: you can find out more at www.wilsonstales.co.uk/  or buy books featuring selected stories illustrated by local artists from the website of Grieves’ bookshop in Berwick. 

Andrew Ayre and John McEwen present Michael Fenty with his prize outside John McKay Wilson’s former office , Berwick. 

Radio Rooms to host Wilson’s Event July 2nd

Wilson’s Tales return home to Tweedmouth after 200 years. 

 

Local writer, John MacKay Wilson would be proud to know that almost 200 years after he originally wrote his Tales of the Borders, his stories will come to life on stage at The Radio Rooms in his native Tweedmouth this week.

Forming part of The Radio Rooms’ “Journey Through Genres” programme, on Friday 2nd July The Wilson’s Tales Project will present an evening of music and drama inspired by some of the hundreds of stories that were published in the 1830s.

Joe Lang and Jackie Kaines Lang will give a light-hearted retelling of “Grizel Cochrane: a Tale of Tweedmouth Muir”, complete with a touch of Covid-secure audience participation. Musicians Eilidh Campbell, Iain Petrie and Carol Whinnom will perform traditional and new songs and ballads inspired by the tales and their setting in the Borders.

The evening is the first in The Radio Rooms’ programme “A Journey Through Genres,” a series of twelve events showcasing different musical genres and featuring local performers. Supported by the Arts Council Grassroots Live Music, free tickets are available for people aged between 16 and 21 on application to The Radio Rooms.

“It is wonderful to bring MacKay’s tales back to his home in Tweedmouth,” said Andrew Ayre of The Wilson’s Tales Project. “He is buried in Tweedmouth Parish Churchyard, which is very near to The Radio Rooms, so he’d almost be able to hear what we’ll be doing on Friday evening. I wonder what he’d make of the venue’s name, though, as the radio wasn’t invented for almost a century after he wrote the stories!”

Tickets are available in advance at www.radiorooms.co.uk . The event is on Friday 2nd July at 6pm, at The Radio Rooms, 95, Main Street, Tweedmouth, TD15 2AW

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Beans & Bacon night! Tonight at 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 8th November – 6.00 p.m. in conjunction with the Berwick Literary Festival, and in celebration of the anniversary of the first edition of “Wilsons tales of the Borders”, Berwick’s own 19th century  international best seller, we will be hosting…  

’Intoxicating Tales of The Borders’

Register at https://berwickliteraryfestival.com/event/wilsons-tales-intoxicating-tales/ 

Visit the registration page, collect your ticket, and at the appointed hour:
Pour a glass of something for the Toast, settle back in the comfortable chair, and direct your browser to the link:-

Proceedings start at 6:00 p.m.

Introduction    Andrew Ayre

6-05 A Toast to Wilson  – have your glass charged and to hand!

6-06 “Beans & Bacon” edited recital of the poem on which our literary dinner is based.    Joe & Jacqui Lang.

 6-10 Wilson’s intoxicating tales – a whistle stop tour of tales involving booze.    A. Ayre

6-14 “The Heir of Elphinstone”    Stuart MacHardy

6-22 “The Pentland Smuggler”    Stuart MacHardy

6-30 Wilson’s Tales Revival Edition launch of Volume 7    A Ayre/J Lang/R Wilson.  The WTP Committee pick their favourite and give some comment on it

6-40 100 word tales    Richard Wilson

6-45 Q & A

6-55 Farewell;  The temperate mans song    Joe Lang.

Notes:

Andrew Ayre is Project Director of The Wilson’s Tale Project

Stuart MacHardy, aka “Bloke in a Bunnet,” is a professional storyteller and author.  Contributor to the Edinburgh Storytelling Centre and others.

Joe Lang and Richard Wilson are Directors of The Project

 

Proceedings will start at 6:00 p.m.

The website shop at 

https://www.wilsonstales.co.uk/?product=wilsons-tales-revival-edition-volume-7-template-copy

Will remain open to sell Volume 7 at a launch special price for 48 hours after the event.
Volume 7 is also available from:-

An Event! At Last! Virtually Live on November 8th at 6.00pm

Wilson’s Tales is delighted to invite all of our Patrons, friends, and supporters to a virtual live event.

On Sunday 8th November – 6.00 p.m. in conjunction with the Berwick Literary Festival, and in celebration of the anniversary of the first edition of “Wilsons tales of the Borders”, Berwick’s own 19th century  international best seller, we will be hosting…  

’Intoxicating Tales of The Borders’

Pour a glass of something for the Toast, settle back in the comfortable chair, and direct your browser to:-

https://berwickliteraryfestival.com/event/wilsons-tales-intoxicating-tales/

Proceedings will start at 6:00 p.m.

Introduction    Andrew Ayre

6-05 A Toast to Wilson  – have your glass charged and to hand!

6-06 “Beans & Bacon” edited recital of the poem on which our literary dinner is based.    Joe & Jacqui Lang.

 6-10 Wilson’s intoxicating tales – a whistle stop tour of tales involving booze.    A. Ayre

6-14 “The Heir of Elphinstone”    Stuart MacHardy

6-22 “The Pentland Smuggler”    Stuart MacHardy

6-30 Wilson’s Tales Revival Edition launch of Volume 7    A Ayre/J Lang/R Wilson.  The WTP Committee pick their favourite and give some comment on it

6-40 100 word tales    Richard Wilson

6-45 Q & A

6-55 Farewell;  The temperate mans song    Joe Lang.

Notes:

Andrew Ayre is Project Director of The Wilson’s Tale Project

Stuart MacHardy, aka “Bloke in a Bunnet,” is a professional storyteller and author.  Contributor to the Edinburgh Storytelling Centre and others.

Joe Lang and Richard Wilson are Directors of The Project

The Wilson’s Tales Literary Dinner, (normally) held in October of each year, has a fun ‘competition’ inviting guests to contribute a 100 word Tale.  These are some of the best to date. 

Put the date in your Reminders and be sure to attend.  Hear (and see)  Wilsons Tales being performed live by your own fireside!  Imagine yourself back in 1836 listening to the family elder reading the latest Tale from the weekly broadsheet edition as the family gathered to listen.  

All you need to do on Sunday November 8th at 17:58 hours is browse to 

https://berwickliteraryfestival.com/event/wilsons-tales-intoxicating-tales/

Proceedings will start at 6:00 p.m.

The website shop at 

https://www.wilsonstales.co.uk/?product=wilsons-tales-revival-edition-volume-7-template-copy

Will remain open to sell Volume 7 at a launch special price for 48 hours after the event.
Volume 7 is also available from:-

Berwick Visitor Centre
Walker Gate
Berwick, TD15 1DJ

George C Grieve
1 Church Street
Berwick, TD15 1EG
01835 824 087

Mainstreet Trading,
St Boswells, TD6 0AT
01289 306051

October 20th 2018 – Talk by Mike Fraser

Mike Fraser – author of the newly published book on the life of JMW (See above) will be giving a talk on JMW’s life and work. as part of the Berwick Literary Festival. Mike discusses what Wilson’s writings tell us about Berwick in 1834 and Britain then and now.
October 20th – 4:00 pm  £5.00 – Holy Trinity Parish Centre

full details and tickets are here
https://www.berwickliteraryfestival.com/event/michael-fraser-john-mackay-wilson-1804-1835/