News

News 79 July 2024

Wilson’s News 79 July 2024
Contents
1  Diary Dates and Dates to keep open
2  The Tales, Words and Phrases
3  A Demolished House and a Cared for Grave
4  Wilson’s Tales: Revival Edition 8 Requested for Public Library Depositories
5  The Wilson’s Project Catalogue
6  100 Words
7  Note from the Editor

1  Diary Dates and Dates to keep open

The Wilson’s memorial “Beans & Bacon” dinner will be held at the The Assembly Room, The Kings Arms, Berwick on 2nd October 2024.

More information shall follow but we hope this will be rather a special event including a live short play.

The Project has applied for funding from Destination Tweed to make the dinner part of a wider celebration of Wilson during early October, which, it is hoped, would include the performance of 6 short plays based on Wilson’s tales by the Border Pub Theatre Co in the picture Gallery at Paxton House on 4th October 2024.

 

2  The Tales, Words and Phrases

Chris Adriaanse, local story teller and spoken word artist, whom some of you may have been lucky enough to hear perform at the last “Beans and Bacon” dinner has submitted  this item. His passion for words and language, their use and how they have changed or been lost over time has led him to reflect on the language and specific words used in the original tales. I am hoping he might become an occasional contributor to the newsletter, with short pieces offering and sharing his own insights into the value and richness of the tales.This first piece links to the revival edition Vol 6 ( pg 62/63) which contains a short extract from the glossary of the Scots dialect published within some editions of the originals.

Wilson’s words and phrases – which ones do you know?
Like contemporary works such as the novels of Sir Walter Scott, the writing in The Tales of the Borders follows a similarly rich and ornate style that some might call long-winded.

However, once you adjust to the literary style, there are plenty of delights to discover. Where else can you find insults such as a “hoary-headed knave” or threats of being “buried in a dunghill without benefit of clergy”.

Sometimes, however, there are some words that are both obscure and essential to the plot. Here’s a sample selection from “Bill Stanley; or, A Sailor’s Story” to test your knowledge. It’s a tale about the life of a young sailor William Stanley, his beloved Mary Danvers and the villainous Squire Wates.

Which of the following would send you searching for a dictionary?

Lubber – a clumsy seaman

Brook – to tolerate or allow

Iniquity – immoral or grossly unfair behaviour

Calumnies – slander

Inveigle – to persuade by deception

Fetter – a chain used to restrain a prisoner

With your expanded vocabulary in hand (and some clues to what happens), you can learn the fate of young William by diving into the original here. Alternatively, you can read a modern retelling (in more familiar words) in the Wilson’s Tales Revival Edition Volume 6.

And if all the words were new to you (as they were to me), don’t be put off. As this word cloud of the original shows, while there may be some words you’ve not encountered before, most will be familiar.

Image: Word cloud of “Bill Stanley; or, A Sailor’s Story”

Contributor: Chris Adriaanse

3  A Demolished House and a Cared for Grave
Berwick Advertiser 5th May 2027

Board Member Richard Wilson has unearthed the attached newspaper article, published in the paper he (Wilson) had edited.

Readable copy to be found at www.wilsonstales.co.uk
At the same time as announcing the demolition of Wilson’s former home, the article marks the start, of an ongoing journey, aimed at keeping alive the value of Wilson’s contribution to our cultural heritage, within the published Tales. His last resting place was to be marked with due respect and recorded. You can see in the article, the details of the plan of how it was intended the grave was to be restored which are touchingly precise and considered, ”It is proposed to have a small plot of grass in the centre and a narrow border of flowers all around”.

And so to where we are in the present journey in the efforts to ensure the upkeep of that last resting place.

As followers will be aware Board Member, Stephen Platten has been working for some (long time) time to try and ensure there is an enduring memorial to JMW.

This week the Project has received and banked a contribution of £500 from the Guild of Freeman of the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed towards the tomb restoration. We also have a pledge of some further support from the Berwick Preservation Trust.

Stephen and Project Director Andrew are leading the Board considerations on how best to try and source the balance of funds needed, options under consideration include making this part of a self guided “Walk with Wilson” trail, similar to the Lowry Trail. It is hoped making it part of a bigger project with more impact and drawing more attention to it may make it more appealing to more funding sources.

Contributors: Richard Wilson and Andrew Ayre

4  Wilson’s Tales: Revival Edition 8 Requested for Public Library Depositories

The Wilson’s Tales project have now issued 8 revival editions of the world famous “Tales of the Borders” , first published form Berwick in 1834 and seldom out of print for the next 150 years.

Under publishing copyright law, anyone publishing a new book has to send one to The British library as part of the depository system. They can then request more copies for other depository libraries if they see fit to do so. This year , the Library has requested copies for all the depository libraries, which are include The National Library of Scotland, The Bodleian Library Oxford, Cambridge University Library, National Library of Wales and The Library of Trinity College Dublin.

The revival editions are put together by a team of over a dozen volunteers with professional input on design and printing work. The project typically chose six tales which deserve to be reheard. These are rewritten in more readable and usually shorter versions. The Tales in their original were subtitled “Historical, Traditionary & Imaginative” and the revival publications include a companion piece to explore the historic context of the tale and how much truth or fiction is involved. The revival editions are also accompanied by a biography of Wilson himself, who inaugurated the tales. The presentation of the Books is also greatly improved by the inclusion of illustrations, some of these originals from 19th C editions , complemented by new illustrations provided by local artists and photography of places associated with the tales.

Project Director Andrew Ayre commented “ It’s a great team effort to pull these tales together in our fresh revival editions and it’s a great compliment to the team that the library feels a copy should be added to all the depository libraries. Even though we need to meet the cost out of own pocket!”

Copies of the revival edition tales can be obtained at local stockists:

Slightly Foxed, Bridge Street, Berwick.  
Berwick Heritage Centre, Walkergate, Berwick  
Greives, Church St , Berwick  
Main Street Trading, Main Street, St Boswells  
The Reading Room, The Square, Melrose  
The Village Shop, Cornhill-on-Tweed 
Heron & Willow, Jedburgh

Or direct from our website www.wilsontales.co.uk where more information on the project and the tales can also be found.

5  The Wilson’s Project Catalogue
The Wilson’s Tales Project began in 2013 with the aim of bringing the Berwick bard, J.M. Wilson, back to public notice.

Since that time, the project has compiled a catalogue of his work, which has steadily been extended to include work outside the ‘Tales of the Borders’ publication which brought him, and Berwick, to national acclaim.

Although the catalogue of his work, adaptations of his work, and even the artefacts collected by the Project is ongoing, it’s felt that it has attained a maturity that makes it the standard reference work for ‘Tales of the Borders’ and their contents.

So what? 
Part of the success of ‘Tales of the Borders’ was in the number of reprints and adaptations that kept the publication in print for over 100 years. Many retellings and adaptations by other authors exist under altered names that can be traced back to Tales first popularised by Wilson. The Project aims to document these, and does so by reference to a unique catalogue number ascribed to each of the items within the 312 original editions, and to other work unpublished within the Tales.

As a result, you may see catalogue numbers given alongside Titles. All the best composers have their catalogers Bach had Wolfgang Schmieder who gave us BWV numbers, Mozart had Ludwig Ritter von Köchel, who gave us the K numbers. It is now time to give Wilson some numbers. –

Catalogue Numbers will be given in the form WT:999.

The project is publishing the section of catalogue which relates to the published Tales on the website, with the further catalogued items related to derived versions and adaptations omitted from the public listing.

Contributor: Richard Wilson

6  100 Words

The rate of entry to the competition has slowed since the last newsletter. At the time of publication of this letter, we have had 29, 100 word tales submitted.

Of course, the upside of that is, you, a follower, may be the future winner, as currently, statistically you stand a higher chance of winning….So please click on the site, have a look at the Ts and Cs and get writing / typing.

https://www.wilsonstales.co.uk/100-words-2024/ 

Contributor: Richard Wilson

7  Note from the Editor 

Well, my hopes that I be reporting back to you during “lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer”, may not have been realised, but, my prediction that there would be much to report in this newsletter, has been.  Ongoing sustained effort by the Board has ensured, many ”irons” are in various fires.

A number of discrete, but not small, projects are in and beyond the planning stage. Funding applications to support them having been completed and submitted and in some instances, already responded to and granted.

Last month, Project Director, Andrew Ayre, gave two talks on Wilson and the Tales. One at the Lowick Heritage Weekend and one at a residential home (Tweedmouth House), to some of out older community members. Both were well received.

So as we head towards the autumn and the promise of a rich array of local events to occupy us over late summer, including food, music and literary festivals, followers are asked to keep an eye out for press releases. Which will hopefully advertise details of the Wilson’s week and the particulars of the “Beans and Bacon” dinner so that you can ensure that you don’t miss them and can fit them into your busy schedules.

Till then, wishing you all more glorious and fun filled summer days.

Denise Bradshaw  newseditor@wilsonstales.co.uk

Stockists
We’re delighted to help the cause of local and independent bookshops.  Even more so when they stock Wilson’s Tales.
Now available from these high street locations;

Slightly Foxed, Bridge Street, Berwick.  :     https://business.facebook.com/slightlyfoxedberwick/
Berwick Heritage Centre, Walkergate, Berwick  : https://berwickhods.org.uk
Greives, Church St , Berwick  https://www.facebook.com/Geo-C-Grieve-Ltd-214226152007347/
Main Street Trading, Main Street, St Boswells  : https://www.mainstreetbooks.co.uk/online-bookshop
The Reading Room, The Square, Melrose  :https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/thereadingroommelrose
The Village Shop, Cornhill-on Tweed   : https://www.facebook.com/CornhillVillageShop
Heron & Willow, Jedburgh : https://www.facebook.com/heronandwillow/
and if you missed last year and Volume 7, you may purchase them both together at a reduced price, but only on our website.  Go to https://www.wilsonstales.co.uk/shop/  to purchase, or any of the booksellers above

Copyright © 2024 Wilsons Tales of the Borders, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Wilsons Tales of the Borders

Mill Farm
Tweedmouth

Berwick Upon Tweed., Northumberland TD15 2HP

United Kingdom

News 78. May 2024

Wilson’s News 78 May 2024

Contents.
1. A New Trustee
2. The Projects Priorities for 2024
3. Updates
4. More Pieces in the Wilson Jigsaw
5. Key diary dates to note and keep a lookout for in 2024

1. A New Trustee
Following my return to Berwick last year I joined the Board of Trustees in June.

After 40 years of working away, as a lawyer, in various jurisdictions and countries, I have come back to my roots to begin my own next chapter. Part of which, I hope, shall include greater involvement in the Wilsons Tales Project. I have been connected to the tales now for around 8 years taking part in re writes.

I have been warmly welcomed by all fellow Trustees and it has been a pleasure to put faces to email addresses. I am much inspired by their individual and collective knowledge of the tales and the actual history that underpins many of the stories.

I am currently in the process of taking over the reigns from Richard Wilson to edit the “Followers” newsletter. (Not at all daunting as a task given the expertise and experience I am replacing…)

But, as the saying goes, every journey starts with a step and every piece of writing starts with the press of one key. So, as I start in this editorial role, herewith, two requests of you Followers readers.

Firstly, please bear with me as I may blunder and trip over words and formats. I am used to writing for different audiences with different presentational requirements.

Secondly, please provide feedback on my efforts. I am keen to get this right so that you as an audience get as much as possible out of the updates finding them useful and informative.

I remain grateful to Richard for his ongoing support and encouragement in my endeavors.

Denise Bradshaw
newseditor@wilsonstales.co.uk

2 The Projects Priorities for 2024

As you will recall last year marked the Project’s 10th anniversary and the 74th Newsletter recited an impressive list of the charity’s achievements to date. It included and reflected how the Projects key objective of “aiming to entertain” has evolved the illustrated, the different ways and media through which this has been achieved.

At the December Board meeting, mindful that the first decade was behind us, the Board reviewed where and how the project might proceed into the next decade.

Accordingly, the Board have agreed the following priorities for the next 12 month period.

Engaging and partaking in more live events:

Some specifics of which include the following:
1. Finding a venue for the 2024 Beans and Bacon Dinner: (Food always being a key priority). The restaurant in the Berwick Maltings that has hosted the last two dinners has now, sadly, closed.

Andrew Ayre has been speaking to the proprietors of various purveyors in the locality. Interest has been expressed in hosting the supper and possibly also running events involving eating, drinking, live storytelling, talks, listening and chatting. As a concept they might be considered as “Tastes and Tales” evenings.

Updates in the next newsletter.
2. Playfest 2024: Presenting Wilsons adaptations, both in Berwick and more widely around the borders for example in Duns and Alnwick.

Updates in the next newsletter.

Possible New Developments

1. Moving onto the art of “Live Storytelling”. The Board are looking at the possibility of making this form of tale sharing an embedded feature of the project. With that in mind we are looking into the possibility of creating a post and sponsoring a “Raconteur in Residence”. We are currently considering what such a post holder might do, where and when and how they would fit in to the project. Obviously funding options need to be explored. Updates on this item will be included in future newsletters.

2. On “Live Storytelling” as it has featured in the project so far: Chris Adriaanse, whose storytelling at the 2023 Beans and Bacon Dinner was so warmly received, is looking at more of the tales to see what he might like to work with next.

Better sharing of News, Updates and Events of interest

1. Followers News: We aim to send out the Followers News with greater frequency, which, depending upon readers feedback to the below questions, may include a weekly supplement in which individual tales are re told in a serialised form.

For some time the project has been considering how best to get the re-writes of tales to wider audiences. The printed, illustrated collections are arguably the most attractive option, particularly to bibliophiles and those wedded to the printed word, but they only attract a small paying customer base. This means, certainly until such time as any fashion or trend to buy the books in number takes off, their ongoing production cannot be sustained as a means of getting new tales into the public sphere.

With that in mind I am asking you to give feedback on your appetites for the following.

Option 1: Would there be an interest, among Followers, for the tales to be serialised and emailed out, as supplements to the Followers News?

Option 2: In addition to considering the possibility of producing written serialisations, the Board is examining how easily tales might be converted into podcasts. Would followers prefer that as a medium through which to enjoy the tales?

Option 3: Would followers like to have both options 1 and 2 available and accessible?

Please e mail and let us have your thoughts to newseditor@wilsonstales.co.uk

Project Governance

1. The Board has undertaken to complete a review of all matters relating to the Governance of the Project. This shall include looking at policy documents, relevant guidance and forms to ensure their ongoing compliance with the the laws and regulations that govern the running of charities. It should also ensure that there are in place effective policies and processes that will enable the project to engage more readily in activities where there is a face to face interaction with the public. This is of particular import when dealing with more vulnerable members of the public.

It is anticipated that the new editions of the documents will be circulated to all Board members in the first quarter of this year, for discussions and revision to enable their earliest adoption.
3. UPDATES
1. Wilson Memorial Restoration

As ever we are grateful to Stephen Platten’s resilience, stamina and dogged determination in continuing to work on this.

As of December 2023 he was able to report to the Board as follows:

He continues to pursue possible funding sources for the renovation of JMW’s tomb. He shall be approaching The Freemen of Berwick who have recently confirmed funding for a statue of the town’s local legend, “Jimmy Strength”. This funding might be secured on the basis that it too, will be for the benefit of the people of Berwick.

2. The Life and Times of JMW

On the 17th January, Mike Fraser, author of An Exile Returns to Berwick, the first biography of John Mackay Wilson, presented a talk, organised by the Berwick History Group, on the life of Wilson. Unfortunately, seasonal bad weather affecting transport and transport routes meant that turnout was low. Feedback from those able to attend was very favourable. A number of attendees admitted to knowing little about Wilson. Mike has been kind enough to say he would happily give the talk again. It could be something that would fit well into a “Tales and Tasting” event, which if it is convened in the summer should enable more people to attend.

Updates to follow.

4. More pieces of the Wilson Jigsaw
1. Definitiv eine deutsche Ausgabe
Founder and Board member of the Project, Andrew Ayre is, as I mentioned in my introduction very knowledgeable about Wilson, the Tales and matters connected thereto including matters dealing with the publications of the tales and their influence on culture over the decades.
Previously his researches led to him finding an edition of the tales, published in Germany but written in English. In January tracked down an edition in German. It is currently held at Chicago library.
Expertly applying his basic German he is confident that the first tale is The Red Hall or Berwick 1296.
He found the library search site from the National Trust.

The following link will take you to the edition which has been helpfully uploaded inti a digital format. https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=fd84b63a83&e=ce1248fcff

2. Fellow board member, writer and sleuth of historical mysteries, Jan Anderson has been digging further into what happened to JMWs widow following his early death.

An illustrated account of her finding will be in the next Followers News

5. Key diary dates to note and keep a lookout for in 2024

1. 6th Beans & Bacon Dinner. Wednesday 2nd October 2024.(Venue to be confirmed.)

2. February 18th 2024 Alnwick’s Northumberland Hall hosts Wilsons Tales as a local producer of local stories, as we participate in a local makers marketplace.

Alongside other local independent authors, and among craft producers, we have a small stall to sell our Revival Editions, and talk to the public, and potential writers, dramatists, and competition entrants about the Tales, their history, and about how we are reintroducing The Tales in print, as drama, and with new digital media as audio.

3. Annual General Meeting. To be held on the 10th April 2024 (Time and location to be confirmed). If any followers would like to attend please let us know by CoP on Monday the 1st April 2024 so that we can arrange an appropriate venue.

4. Watch out for the announcement of the launch and closing date of the 3rd 100 Word Story Competition. (But get idea collecting and drafting now, late summer will soon be upon us).

Stockists

We’re delighted to help the cause of local and independent bookshops. Even more so when they stock Wilson’s Tales.
Now available from these high street locations;

Slightly Foxed, Bridge Street, Berwick. : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=bc63195a08&e=ce1248fcff
Berwick Heritage Centre, Walkergate, Berwick : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=f39ef2b01f&e=ce1248fcff (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=869bb7f8e6&e=ce1248fcff)
Greives, Church St , Berwick : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=9bc9001b73&e=ce1248fcff
Main Street Trading, Main Street, St Boswells : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=8876df392e&e=ce1248fcff
The Reading Room, The Square, Melrose :https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/thereadingroommelrose
The Village Shop, Cornhill-0n Tweed. : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=6441ce11a6&e=ce1248fcff

and if you missed last year and Volume 7, you may purchase them both together at a reduced price, but only on our website.
goto
https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=8baaa2f2c5&e=ce1248fcff to purchase, or any of the booksellers above

============================================================
Copyright © 2024 Wilsons Tales of the Borders, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Wilsons Tales of the Borders
Mill Farm
Tweedmouth
Berwick Upon Tweed., Northumberland TD15 2HP
United Kingdom

News 76 February 2024

Wilson’s News 76. February 2024

Contents
Newsletter 76 contents:
1. A New Trustee
2. The Projects Priorities for 2024
3. Updates
4. More Pieces in the Wilson Jigsaw
5. Key diary dates to note and keep a lookout for in 2024

1. A New Trustee
Following my return to Berwick last year I joined the Board of Trustees in June.

After 40 years of working away, as a lawyer, in various jurisdictions and countries, I have come back to my roots to begin my own next chapter. Part of which, I hope, shall include greater involvement in the Wilsons Tales Project. I have been connected to the tales now for around 8 years taking part in re writes.

I have been warmly welcomed by all fellow Trustees and it has been a pleasure to put faces to email addresses. I am much inspired by their individual and collective knowledge of the tales and the actual history that underpins many of the stories.

I am currently in the process of taking over the reigns from Richard Wilson to edit the “Followers” newsletter. (Not at all daunting as a task given the expertise and experience I am replacing…)

But, as the saying goes, every journey starts with a step and every piece of writing starts with the press of one key. So, as I start in this editorial role, herewith, two requests of you Followers readers.

Firstly, please bear with me as I may blunder and trip over words and formats. I am used to writing for different audiences with different requirements in terms of how they want information presented to them.

Secondly, please provide feedback on my efforts. I am keen to get this right so that you as an audience get as much as possible out of the updates finding them useful and informative.

I remain grateful to Richard for his ongoing support and encouragement in my endeavours.

Denise Bradshaw newseditor@wilsonstales.co.uk

2 The Projects Priorities for 2024
As you will recall last year marked the Project’s 10th anniversary and the 74th Newsletter recited an impressive list of the charity’s achievements to date. It included and reflected how the Projects key objective of “aiming to entertain” has evolved the illustrated, the different ways and media through which this has been achieved.
At the December Board meeting, mindful that the first decade was behind us, the Board reviewed where and how the project might proceed into the next decade.

Accordingly, the Board have agreed the following priorities for the next 12 month period.

Engaging and partaking in more live events:

Some specifics of which include the following:

1. Finding a venue for the 2024 Beans and Bacon Dinner: (Food always being a key priority). The restaurant in the Berwick Maltings that has hosted the last two dinners has now, sadly, closed.

Andrew Ayre has been speaking to the proprietors of various purveyors in the locality. A number have expressed interest in hosting the supper and possibly also running events involving eating, drinking, live storytelling, talks, listening and chatting. As a concept they might be considered as “Tastes and Tales” evenings. Updates in the next newsletter.

2. Playfest 2024: Presenting adaptations of the tales, both in Berwick and more widely around the borders for example in Duns and Alnwick. Updates in the next newsletter.

Possible New Developments

1. Moving onto the art of “Live Storytelling”. The Board are looking at the possibility of making this form of tale sharing an embedded feature of the project. With that in mind we are looking into the possibility of creating a post and sponsoring a “Raconteur in Residence”. We are currently considering what such a post holder might do, where and when and how they would fit in to the project. Obviously funding options need to be explored. Updates on this item will be included in future newsletters.

2. On “Live Storytelling” as it has featured in the project so far: Chris Adriaanse, whose storytelling at the 2023 Beans and Bacon Dinner was so warmly received, is looking at more of the tales to see what he might like to work with next.

Better sharing of News, Updates and Events of interest

1. Followers News: We aim to send out the Followers News with greater frequency, which, depending upon readers feedback to the below questions, may include a weekly supplement in which individual tales are re told in a serialised form.

For some time the project has been considering how best to get the re-writes of tales to wider audiences. The printed, illustrated collections are arguably the most attractive option, particularly to bibliophiles and those wedded to the printed word, but they only attract a small paying customer base. This means, certainly until such time as any fashion or trend to buy the books in number takes off, their ongoing production cannot be sustained as a means of getting new tales into the public sphere.

With that in mind I am asking you to give feedback on your appetites for the following.

Option 1: Would there be an interest, among Followers, for the tales to be serialised and emailed out, as supplements to the Followers News?

Option 2: In addition to considering the possibility of producing written serialisations, the Board is examining how easily tales might be converted into podcasts. Would followers prefer that as a medium through which to enjoy the tales?

Option 3: Would followers like to have both options 1 and 2 available and accessible?

Please e mail and let us have your thoughts to newseditor@wilsonstales.co.uk

Project Governance

1. The Board has undertaken to complete a review of all matters relating to the Governance of the Project. This shall include looking at policy documents, relevant guidance and forms to ensure their ongoing compliance with the the laws and regulations that govern the running of charities. It should also ensure that there are in place effective policies and processes that will enable the project to engage more readily in activities where there is a face to face interaction with the public. This is of particular import when dealing with more vulnerable members of the public.

It is anticipated that the new editions of the documents will be circulated to all Board members in the first quarter of this year, for discussions and revision to enable their earliest adoption.

3. UPDATES
1. Wilson Memorial Restoration

As ever we are grateful to Stephen Platten’s resilience, stamina and dogged determination in continuing to work on this.

As of December 2023 he was able to report to the Board as follows:

He continues to pursue possible funding sources for the renovation of JMW’s tomb. He shall be approaching The Freemen of Berwick who have recently confirmed funding for a statue of the town’s local legend, “Jimmy Strength”. This funding might be secured on the basis that it too, will be for the benefit of the people of Berwick.

2. The Life and Times of JMW

On the 17th January, Mike Fraser, author of An Exile Returns to Berwick, the first biography of John Mackay Wilson, presented a talk, organised by the Berwick History Group, on the life of Wilson. Unfortunately, seasonal bad weather affecting transport and transport routes meant that turnout was low. Feedback from those able to attend was very favourable. A number of attendees admitted to knowing little about Wilson. Mike has been kind enough to say he would happily give the talk again. It could be something that would fit well into a “Tales and Tasting” event, which if it is convened in the summer should enable more people to attend. Updates in the next Newsletter.

4. More pieces of the Wilson Jigsaw
1. Definitiv eine deutsche Ausgabe
Founder and Board member of the Project, Andrew Ayre is, as I mentioned in my introduction very knowledgeable about Wilson, the tales and matters connected thereto including matters dealing with the publications of the tales and their influence on culture over the decades.
Previously his researches uncovered an edition of the tales, published in Germany but written in English. In January he tracked down an edition in German. It is currently held in the Chicago library.
Expertly applying his basic German he is confident that the first tale in The Red Hall or Berwick 1296.

He found the library search site form the National Trust.
the following link will take you to the edition which has been helpfully uploaded. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=chi.81361680

2. Fellow Board member, writer and sleuth of historical mysteries, Jan Anderson has been digging further into what happened to JMW’s widow following his early death.

An illustrated account of what she has unearthed will be in the next Newsletter.

5. Key diary dates to note and keep a lookout for in 2024

1. 3rd Beans & Bacon Dinner. Wednesday 2nd October 2024.(Venue to be confirmed.)

2. February 18th 2024 Alnwick’s Northumberland Hall hosts Wilsons Tales as a local producer of local stories, as we participate in a local makers marketplace.

Alongside other local independent authors, and among craft producers, we have a small stall to sell our Revival Editions, and talk to the public, and potential writers, dramatists, and competition entrants about the Tales, their history, and about how we are reintroducing The Tales in print, as drama, and with new digital media as audio.

3. Annual General Meeting. To be held on the 10th April 2024 (Time and location to be confirmed). If any followers would like to attend please let us know by CoP on Monday the 1st April 2024 so that we can arrange an appropriate venue.

4. Watch out for the announcement of the launch and closing date of the 3rd 100 Word Story Competition. (But get idea collecting and drafting now, late summer will soon be upon us).

Stockists
We’re delighted to help the cause of local and independent bookshops. Even more so when they stock Wilson’s Tales.
Now available from these high street locations;

Slightly Foxed, Bridge Street, Berwick. : https://business.facebook.com/slightlyfoxedberwick/
Berwick Heritage Centre, Walkergate, Berwick : https://berwickhods.org.uk
Greives, Church St , Berwick : https://www.facebook.com/Geo-C-Grieve-Ltd-214226152007347/
Main Street Trading, Main Street, St Boswells : https://www.mainstreetbooks.co.uk/online-bookshop
The Reading Room, The Square, Melrose :https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/thereadingroommelrose
The Village Shop, Cornhill-0n Tweed. : https://www.facebook.com/CornhillVillageShop

and if you missed last year and Volume 7, you may purchase them both together at a reduced price, but only on our website.
goto
https://www.wilsonstales.co.uk/shop/ to purchase, or any of the booksellers above

Copyright © 2024 Wilsons Tales of the Borders, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you asked to receive information when you attended an event or opted in via the website,

Our mailing address is:
Wilsons Tales of the Borders
Mill Farm
Tweedmouth
Berwick Upon Tweed., Northumberland TD15 2HP
United Kingdom

News 75 September 2023

Newsletter 75 100 Word Competition winner

Wilson’s News 74. September 2023
Memorial Literary Dinner.
Contents
Newsletter 74 contents:
1. Wilson Memorial Dinner. October 2nd
2. 100 word Tale competition. Judging in progress.

** 1. The Wilson Memorial Dinner.
————————————————————

The J.M. Wilson Memorial Literary Dinner will take place at The Maltings, Berwick, at 7:00 p.m on October 2nd, the anniversary of his death.

The 2023 J.M. Wilson “Beans & Bacon” Memorial Dinner. is open for bookings, though space is limited, and many places have been booked already. A vegetarian option will be available.
Payment preferred via Bank Transfer or by cash/cheque on the evening.
Please note that in view of the limited places, ‘no-shows’ will be charged.
You may reserve a place by email to wilsonstales@gmail.com (mailto:wilsonstales@gmail.com?subject=Ticket%20Enquiry)
Fuller details are on the website – click here for information (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=0572674c34&e=ce1248fcff)
tickets are available in the shop by clicking here (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=1e32ebae22&e=ce1248fcff)
The Menu and programme is here, (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=4bd125caac&e=ce1248fcff) and are also linked from the website pages.

The programme features Chris Adriaanse reading one of Wilson’s own Tales entitled The Festival, about Tweedmouth Feast. It was originally published as the lead Tale in edition 38 on 25th July 1835.

The shortlist and winner of the 100 Word Tale competition, which was originated at these dinners will also be announced and read.

Why Beans & Bacon?
For those who don’t know, Wilson was a poet, and wrote, amongst other material, a humorous poem called ‘Beans & Bacon. The Tale of Toby Toothpick’ which describes the tribulations of an impoverished young man, reduced to a tramp, who picks up a scrap of folded paper that turns out to be a £20 note. Making the most of his good luck, he books into the first Inn he finds and orders himself a large plate of beans and bacon, accompanied by a generous quantity of ale.
All does not go well… Though there is a happy ending.
You may care to read it, and our commentary, in volume 5.
At the dinner, the poem is read as a precursor to our own ‘Beans & Bacon’ dinner. Chefs to date have risen to the challenge and produced delicious versions which Toby wouldn’t recognise..

The full poem and companion item are on the website here (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=5f7ee87c40&e=ce1248fcff)

Monday 2nd October -Maltings Cafe, Berwick on Tweed.
Doors open at 7:00 pm.
The cost is £32 per head. A Vegetarian option will be available.
2. 100 Words Competition.
This now annual competition was made into a prize competition open to all last year, and attracted entries from across the globe. This year’s competition closed on September 2nd, again with entries from round the world.
2023 entrants have been included in this newsletter, but you may unsubscribe from further mail using the optional at the bottom of the mail (there will be no effect on the judging!)
The addition of a stricture calling for a Tale which ‘could have been used by Wilson’ seems to have reduced the quantity slightly, but improved the quality, and it is especially pleasing to see many local entrants from the Borders beside the dozens from other continents.

Judging is now taking place, long listed authors will be advised by email, and the eventual shortlist and winner will be read and announced at the dinner.

Watch this space!

– Here is a 2022 shortlisted entry, by Jackie Latham

Tom and Dick

Dick was the best window cleaner in Northumberland, so thorough, took his time with every window. The only thing that puzzled me was that he always came after dark.

Then last month he said he couldn’t use the ladder any more so was switching to a Reach and Wash system, so did I know that he could attach a camera to the pole to make sure he got into every nook and cranny?

I said I did. I kinda regretted that though when he was had up for being a peeping tom. But my windows were so very, very clean.

100w
Stockists

We’re delighted to help the cause of local and independent bookshops. Even more so when they stock Wilson’s Tales.
Now available from these high street locations;

Slightly Foxed, Bridge Street, Berwick. : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=acb543bdce&e=ce1248fcff
Berwick Heritage Centre, Walkergate, Berwick : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=dc89940aaa&e=ce1248fcff (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=217e5b6373&e=ce1248fcff)
Greives, Church St , Berwick : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=5d1666e5e5&e=ce1248fcff
Main Street Trading, Main Street, St Boswells : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=9832cbcd37&e=ce1248fcff
The Reading Room, The Square, Melrose :https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/thereadingroommelrose
The Village Shop, Cornhill-0n Tweed. : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=f8b09bc0ad&e=ce1248fcff

and if you missed last year and Volume 7, you may purchase them both together at a reduced price, but only on our website.
goto
https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=edf727def0&e=ce1248fcff to purchase, or any of the booksellers above

============================================================
Copyright © 2023 Wilsons Tales of the Borders, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Wilsons Tales of the Borders
Mill Farm
Tweedmouth
Berwick Upon Tweed., Northumberland TD15 2HP
United Kingdom

News 74 – Dinner and Judging

Here is the plain text version of the latest Newsletter.

For the HTML version, why not subscribe? – just drop an email to WilsonsTales@gmail.com.

 

Newsletter 74

Wilson’s News 74.  September 2023
Memorial Literary Dinner.
Contents
Newsletter 74 contents:
1. Wilson Memorial Dinner. October 2nd
2. 100 word Tale competition. Judging in progress.

** 1.  The Wilson Memorial Dinner.
————————————————————

The J.M. Wilson Memorial Literary Dinner will take place at The Maltings, Berwick, at 7:00 p.m on October 2nd, the anniversary of his death.

The 2023 J.M. Wilson “Beans & Bacon” Memorial Dinner.  is open for bookings, though space is limited, and many places have been booked already.  A vegetarian option will be available.
Payment preferred via Bank Transfer or by cash/cheque on the evening.
Please note that in view of the limited places, ‘no-shows’ will be charged.
You may reserve a place by email to wilsonstales@gmail.com (mailto:wilsonstales@gmail.com?subject=Ticket%20Enquiry)
Fuller details are on the website – click here for information (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=33232c14a3&e=ce1248fcff)
tickets are available in the shop by clicking here (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=2c9bff1d8e&e=ce1248fcff)
The Menu and programme is here, (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=ee42102b66&e=ce1248fcff) and are also linked from the website pages.

The programme features Chris Adriaanse reading one of Wilson’s own Tales entitled The Festival, about Tweedmouth Feast. It was originally published as the lead Tale in edition 38 on 25th July 1835.

The shortlist and winner of the 100 Word Tale competition, which was originated at these dinners will also be announced and read.

Why Beans & Bacon?
For those who don’t know, Wilson was a poet, and wrote, amongst other material, a humorous poem called ‘Beans & Bacon. The Tale of Toby Toothpick’ which describes the tribulations of an impoverished young man, reduced to a tramp, who picks up a scrap of folded paper that turns out to be a £20 note. Making the most of his good luck, he books into the first Inn he finds and orders himself a large plate of beans and bacon, accompanied by a generous quantity of ale.
All does not go well…   Though there is a happy ending.
You may care to read it, and our commentary, in volume 5.
At the dinner, the poem is read as a precursor to our own ‘Beans & Bacon’ dinner.  Chefs to date have risen to the challenge and produced delicious versions which Toby wouldn’t recognise..

The full poem and companion item are on the website here (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=ded9030785&e=ce1248fcff)

Monday 2nd October -Maltings Cafe, Berwick on Tweed.
Doors open at 7:00 pm.
The cost is £32 per head.   A Vegetarian option will be available.
2.  100 Words Competition.
This now annual competition was made into a prize competition open to all last year, and attracted entries from across the globe. This year’s competition closed on September 2nd, again with entries from round the world.
2023 entrants have been included in this newsletter, but you may unsubscribe from further mail using the optional at the bottom of the mail (there will be no effect on the judging!)
The addition of a stricture calling for a Tale which ‘could have been used by Wilson’ seems to have reduced the quantity slightly, but improved the quality, and it is especially pleasing to see many local entrants from the Borders beside the dozens from other continents.

Judging is now taking place, long listed authors will be advised by email, and the eventual shortlist and winner will be read and announced at the dinner.

Watch this space!

– Here is a 2022 shortlisted entry, by Jackie Latham

Tom and Dick

Dick was the best window cleaner in Northumberland, so thorough, took his time with every window.  The only thing that puzzled me was that he always came after dark.

Then last month he said he couldn’t use the ladder any more so was switching to a Reach and Wash system, so did I know that he could attach a camera to the pole to make sure he got into every nook and cranny?

I said I did. I kinda regretted that though when he was had up for being a peeping tom.  But my windows were so very, very clean.

100w
Stockists

We’re delighted to help the cause of local and independent bookshops.  Even more so when they stock Wilson’s Tales.
Now available from these high street locations;

Slightly Foxed, Bridge Street, Berwick.  :     https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=96f56566b8&e=ce1248fcff
Berwick Heritage Centre, Walkergate, Berwick  : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=34fd01081e&e=ce1248fcff (https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=cf4993ea3f&e=ce1248fcff)
Greives, Church St , Berwick  : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=abc5964a7a&e=ce1248fcff
Main Street Trading, Main Street, St Boswells  : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=fcb90d7a9b&e=ce1248fcff
The Reading Room, The Square, Melrose  :https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/thereadingroommelrose
The Village Shop, Cornhill-0n Tweed.   : https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=2c530e7896&e=ce1248fcff

and if you missed last year and Volume 7, you may purchase them both together at a reduced price, but only on our website.
goto
https://WilsonsTales.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c5ce587c60d73ecdcdb26ebcd&id=3ef68f36dd&e=ce1248fcff to purchase, or any of the booksellers above

============================================================
Copyright © 2023 Wilsons Tales of the Borders, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you asked to receive information when you attended an event or opted in via the website,

Our mailing address is:
Wilsons Tales of the Borders
Mill Farm
Tweedmouth
Berwick Upon Tweed., Northumberland TD15 2HP
United Kingdom

 

the 100 Word Challenge 2023 goes live

Following the success of the 2023 competition, which attracted entries from across the world, we are again running a competition to write an entire Tale in exactly 100 words.

Grand Prize of £50.00.

Closing date September 2nd 2023

Full details on the website.  www.WilsonsTale.co.uk
A printable poster is at https://www.wilsonstales.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/2023-100word-poster.pdf 

Wilson Memorial Dinner 2022

After the necessary absence, the annual Dinner hosted by the Wilson’s Tales project in Berwick has returned, and thrown open its doors to the public, inviting everyone to buy a ticket and attend. 

This year the event is at the Maltings, Berwick’s premier theatre venue, on October 3rd, close to the anniversary of Wilson’s death.  Andrew Ayre, the Project Director, and MC for the evening said “We are delighted to be back in the public view, our prize winning production of the “Freebooter of Coldstream”was a huge success in Duns, and our annual dinner has been gathering momentum since 2019, so we thought it time to invite any and all of our supporters and the public to come along and enjoy some of Wilson’s work together with a meal fit for a pauper.” 

The pauper reference is to the poem by Wilson entitles “Beans and Bacon: The Tale of Toby Toothpick,” a comic tale which is assumed to be commentary on Wilson’s time in London when he was extremely impoverished.  The poem will be performed in the course of the evening, together with a dramatisation of the Tale of Kate Kennedy.  New this year will be the announcement of the winner and shortlisted entries from the 100 words prize challenge, a competition now open to worldwide entrants to write a Tale in exactly 100 words.  

Full details of the dinner, tickets, competition, and a sample of 100 word tales can be found at www.wilsonstales.co.uk.  

Wilson’s Tales revival Volume 8 is here.

At last the wait is over.

Volume 8 has arrived.  Another 6 Tales, rewritten illustrated and researched, and again containing a mixed collection that is humorous, incredible, and informative.
Get your copy now from the Wilson’s Tales shop at https://www.wilsonstales.co.uk/shop/
and there’s a special offer.  Because last year’s suffered from shops being closed, you can buy both for a special price here  and get 12 Tales plus the additional editorial.