A Bit Crack storytellers are embarking on an epic journey through Northumberland and the North Pennines, discovering Tales of the Forgotten North. In the spring of 2013 and 2014 Malcolm, Pat, Pascale and Chris created stories from archaeological sites in the depths of North-East England with archaeologists Paul Frodsham and Jessica Turner.

This project has been tremendous – bringing together of some fantastic people and practices. Imaginative, informative, spell-binding. Great to combine Archaeology, Storytelling and hi-story fascinating, thought provoking stuff. The best night out I have had in ages! Superb. Love the facts and fiction mix!

Audience Member, Tales of the Forgotten North: Part Two
December 6th at the Star and Shadow Cinema

Making the stories
We created these stories with school children, local to the sites, with whom we ventured out into the wilds, sought treasure, stirred our imaginations and mapped the ancient worlds. We created fiction from evidence given us by the rocks, the earth, the lumps and bumps in the ground. Making the invisible visible. The storytellers then used these children’s ideas as inspiration for making stories for an adult audience, that bring the past alive.

Travelling with the stories
As part of this project we took fellow travellers on two journeys; the first journey happened in June and July of 2013 when we travelled from Holy Island to Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland; the second was at the end of June of this year winding our way from Hadrian’s Wall to Long Meg in the North Pennines. These journeys passed through the archaeological sites, where our tales were developed and along our way we stopped to share the tales; eat together, sleep under the stars and dream the land.

Performing the Stories
Along the route of the journey we held public performances in village halls. We also ran guided story walks so that others could join in our exploration of the land. We are running two more of these story walks with the North Pennines AONB this August and September. There will also be tellings of the Tales of the Forgotten North at our regular performance evenings at the Star and Shadow Cinema in Newcastle. For details of these please see our Events page.

The two journeys have been brilliant - take a look at our blog to see what we got up to.


Looking out at the hilltop villages of roundhouses with people who were just like us feeling sadness and joy, pain, fear, excitement, love and longing in a different world.
Thank you for bringing me here.

Land Journey Participant, 2013

A massive thank you for talking at the annual forum – your talk/stories were amazing and I loved every minute of them. You had the whole audience enthralled – an astounding feat given how varied and different they all were. I have had really positive feedback about you and the project and I’m really fired up to find more funding and develop a coastal project with you. There is a distinct need to celebrate the fabulous cultural heritage of Northumberland Coast and I’m desperate for A Bit of Crack to be a major part.

Jessica Turner, Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Tales of the Forgotten North is a two-year project in partnership with Northumberland National Park Authority, Northumberland Coast and North Pennines Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in collaboration with Sustrans. Tales of the Forgotten North has been made possible through Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts scheme.

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