2012 Events

Pauline storytelling in the Wee Wizards tent at Wizard Festival 2011 (Thanks to Bill Irvine for the photo)

Events Archive 2012:

Well 2012 was a quieter year for me, but by no means a year off!  My partner and I were proud to announce the birth of our first child, Molly Ivy Cordiner Cole on the 30th June 2012.
This meant much excitement to have a little one of my own to tell stories to, but it did also mean that, regretfully, I had to give up my roles as treasurer and committee member of the Grampian Assocation of Storytellers, but with any luck I will  still be able to attend and help out with many of their events and workshops.

Here’s a few events I told stories at in 2012!

Anna Fancett and I performed on the evening of Friday 2nd March at 2012’s Intervarsity Folk Dance Festival  which was held this year in Aberdeen. We then did a beginners storytelling workshop the next morning at 9am.  Despite all the dance workshops available, we still had a packed room full of those wanting to try out storytelling for the first time.

What started off as a simple request for a couple of storytelling sessions at Banff Castle’s Beltane Bash turned in to a little more after I announced I would be 8 months pregnant the weekend of the event!
Along with my younger sister The Maiden (Catriona of our living history group, the Rhynie Wifies) and my older sister, The Crone (Lesley of The Historic Saltire Society) I did a serious bit of character acting as the heavily pregnant Mother and then settled down for some seasonal Beltane Stories in the newly opened Kelpie Cafe which is part of the Arts and Folklore Centre. (Click on the thumbnail for a photo of us all.  Thanks to Ben Haslam for the photo!)

I was definitely supposed to be having a rest by this point but figured that one last storytelling session before the birth wouldn’t cause any harm!  This year’s Banchory St Ternan fair had a bit of a royal theme going with the Queen’s jubilee being just around the corner, so The Rhynie Wifies and I fitted in some themed crafts and stories at the Banchory Library and Museum.

In September, The Rhynie Wifies and their newest member (Tiny Rhynie, Molly – aged 11 weeks) made the trip to Skara Brae in Orkney for a weekend of living history.  We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in the Neolithic and would like to thank the staff and visitors to the Skara Brae visitors centre for making us feel so welcome. The Rhynie Wifies offer a living history experience from the stone, bronze and iron ages as well as various crafts, cooking and, of course storytelling to different themes.  See contact page for details.

We also took over Castle Fraser on the evening of Saturday 27th October for three sold out adult-only ghost tours of the Castle.  I had the privilege of being one of the two tour guides, telling some of the castle’s ghost stories and meeting some pretty sinister characters along the way!
On the Sunday, I told ghost stories to children of all ages and adults in the library from 12 – 4.

On Sunday 25th November I told stories at Busy Beasties Christmas Shopping Event which was held at the old Dobbies Garden Centre, Hazledene Road, Aberdeen.  The event raised money for Kayleighs Wee Stars, a charity which aims to support families with a terminally ill child.


2010 Events

Pauline at the final Wickerman event, 31st October 2010.

As their resident storyteller, I was storytelling throughout the year at Archaeolink Prehistory Park.  With differently themed weekends between easter and Hallowe’en, Archaeolink had something for everyone and I set myself the difficult challenge of fitting my stories to their themes!

See their web page for details of upcoming events and themed weekends.

I was made very welcome again at  the Aberdeen University Storytelling Societywhen I told stories there on the 17th March. They are such a welcoming and relaxed group that it feels so natural to be telling stories amongst them – I wish the society had existed when I studied there!

On the 12th June 2010, I was telling Celtic and Pictish tales at St Ternan’s Heritage Fair at Banchory, along with Anna Fancett (GAS Chair) and Lee Ramsay from the Aberdeen University Storytelling Society. We were suitably dressed (and painted for the occasion) and I brough some prehistoric crafts with me and my hunters horn with which everyone was welcome to try calling the Taexali tribe to battle!
2010’s theme of Celts and Picts will see Banchory Museum and Library converted into a Pictish fort and an Iron Age Hill Fort, and there were be many other activities for kids and adults to enjoy. For all the other events that took place at the Fair, see their webpage for more details.

The best thing about the Glastonbury Festival is that there is so much more to discover than the music – leave the main drag heading up towards the Stone Circle and you’ll find poetry, art, crafts, wonderful cafes and stalls and many spontaneous, frivolous, crazy goings-on 🙂  Not forgetting the storytelling of course!  From the 24th to the 27th June, I once again joined Christine Willison in the Earth Lodge at the Green Futures Field.  I also told stories at the Kidz field, organised by John Row – and I’m already looking forward to Glastonbury 2011!

To make sure the children (and a few mums dads, grannies and grandas!) were kept entertained, I joined a number of family history societies, archivists and local interest groups at Crathes Castle’s Family History Fair on the 10th July – a wonderful historic setting to inspire some traditional scottish folk and fairy tales!

Scottish Natural Heritage had a wonderful sunny summers day for their Open Day at the Burn O Vat visitors centre on the 11th July where  I told some of my favourite stories there as part of the International Year of Biodiversity.  How did the Caledonian Forest survive?  Who was the mysterious Green Man?  Who caused the scourge of Scotland? Many other activities and crafts were available including a treasure hunt and the chance to make your own bee box.

On the 25th July, I joined poets, musicians and other storytellers performing from The Performance Shack, one of a group of shacks made from recycled materials which popped up in Union Terrace Gardens, on Schoolhill and on St Nicholas Square.  This was a Peackock Visual Arts Project called the “Mobile Creative Village”  – one of a number of events taking place to publicise the London 2012 Olympics in 2 years time.   Read more on the North East Writers web page

I told stories at the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival for the first time on the 6th and 7th August in the Tweedledum Tent – Everything I’ve heard about Belladrum was true – it’s such a friendly festival!  Fellow storyteller Anna Fancett and I dressed up as the White Queen and Red Queen respectively and she helped me out with a couple of stories.  Belladrum Festival Web Page  Click here to see the two queens battle it out on the croquet pitch!

I was also excited to be going back to the Wee Wizards Tent at 2010’s Wizard Festival.  The kids were great, telling stories with a mic was easier than I thought and I discovered a previously unknown talent for making balloon dogs!.  Wizard Festival Web Page.  … And a photo of the storytelling here. (Very much a high-tech fairy!)

On Saturday the 4th September, I represented GAS at Bodgefest 2010. The day was organised by Dunnottar Bodgers Group and was a fantastic family day of crafts, arts and music in the quarry area of Dunnottar Woods.

I was one of the organisers of Gadiefest 2010 – a celebration of storytelling, arts, crafts and music in the North East of Scotland which took place on Friday the 10th and Saturday 11th September 2010. The festival was organised by GAS and Archaeolink and we enjoyed a great weekend of tales round the fire in the round house. There were events in town (Aberdeen) too though, so have a look at the Gadiefest 2010 web page to see how it went.

I always feel that Hallowe’en is best spent exploring a spooky castle… So it was with great delight that Anna Fancett and I took on the role of storytelling witches at Castle Fraser this Hallowe’en.  We told our favourite ghost stories to fellow witches, devils, ghosts and werewolves in the library which had been wonderfully decorated for the occasion.


Sadly it looks like this years Wickerman at Archaeolink was the last.  The round house at Archaeolink was where I told my very first story and I and many others will deeply miss the atmosphere, the fun, the excitement, the singing at the roundhouse parties, the midnight stargazing, the spear-fighting, the fire walking, the friendship, the laughter and the good times we all had there.  I’m proud to have been one asked to light the Wicker Man for the final time along with other Archaeolink staff as well as members of Historic Saltire and Medieval Realm.  Click here to see staff and volunteers enjoy this spectacular event.

Finally, to round off the year, I told local stories and Scottish Folk Tales at Stonehaven’s Hogmanay Event, Open Air In The Square. I went to see the fireballs afterwards of course!


2009 Events

Pauline telling stories at Darwin, Dinosaurs and Dodos at Aberdeen’s David Welch Winter Gardens.

On Sunday the 5th April between 1 and 4pm, Anna Fancett and I ran a Family Storytelling workshop at Archaeolink. Based on an environmental theme, the workshop targeted children between primaries 4 and 7 but everyone was be made welcome! The workshop attracted a number of families and used seasonal items gathered outside, instruments and puppets to tell stories about the environment we live in! We had some great stories and are looking forward to doing it again some time soon!

Along with the rest of the nation, storytellers have been celebrating Homecoming. One special event on the 16th May in the Lemon Tree saw Word, SC&T and GAS joining together for a ceilidh of stories and song. The event was lead by Stanley Robertson and Grace Banks and was a great success!

Stanley and Pauline performing at the Lemon Tree event in May. Sadly, this was the last time I was to sing together with Stanley who passed away in August. I had been in Stanley’s SC&T Ballad Class for many months and enjoyed every minute learning from him. It is a memory I will treasure.

Also on the 16th May (which was a very busy day for me!) I was puppeteering at Aberdeen University’s Zoology Dept’s “Night At The Museum” event along with members of the department and the Aberdeen Street Entertainers. I’m very please to say that the shadow and black light puppetry show was a complete success! It was a very different type of storytelling from the norm! – Have a look at the “Museum’s At Night” web page here – http://www.culture24.org.uk/places+to+go/museums+at+night+2009/art67629
The 20 minute show of evolution from Man to Molecules, is available for your event. Contact the creators through my details on the contact page.

The Macaulay Institute held an Open Doors event on the 6th June and GAS storytellers, including myself, were there. Have a look at their Open Doors web page for more details. Here is one of the photos from the event – http://www.macaulay.ac.uk/OpenDoors2009/photos.php


I had a HUGE amount of fun telling stories at the Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts. The Glastonbury Festival 2009 was held from Wednesday 24th to Sunday 28th June and I was telling stories in the Earth Lodge in the Green Futures Field on Thurdsay, Friday, Saturday and Sunday along with Christine Willison who has been a regular at Glastonbury for many years, and other storytellers from the British Isles, Anne Lister and Cath Little. I was also telling daily to the kids of Glastonbury in the Kidz field Storytelling tent, ran by Storyteller John Row. Great fun!

The Darwin/Evolution theme continued with a series of events in the David Welch Winter Gardens at the   Duthie Park this summer organized by the Natural History Centre entitled “Darwin:  Discovery, Dinosaurs and Dodos” All events were free and took place weekdays from Monday 13th July to Friday 31st July between 10am and 4pm. On Wednesday 15th, I told stories from Darwin’s various ports of call on his journey on the Beagle, and on Wednesday 22nd, to coincide with the week of Dinosaur events, I told stories about Scotland’s Monsters and Mythological Creatures!

On the 2nd August, I was invited back to the Burn O Vat. Along the route to the Vat from the visitors centre, I told stories inspired by and related to some of the plants and wildlife found along the way. We covered the folklore of buttercups and daisies, heard how a girl saved her village from invaders, heard a good warning about faries and heard about some of the people from Dinnet’s history.  We spent some time in the Vat itself hearing about Gilderoy McGregor and finished off with one of my favourite stories – that of the origin of the most terrible scourge of Scotland – the Midgie!

At the end of August, I was delighted to be telling stories at 2009’s Wizard Festival.  Wizard Festival is now in its third year and (as well as one of my favourite bands!) will host the “Wee Wizards” arena for the second year – with HEAPS of things for kids to do.  Although the weather delayed the festival for a couple of house (and we ended up pitching our tent in the tale end of a hurricane!), the tent was packed with kids and the storytelling was great fun.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival!

The next big event was Gadiefest 2009, a weekend of of Storytelling, Drama, Music, Ballads, Arts, Crafts and Poetry – I was very excited to be one of the organisers! The Grampian Association of Storytellers and Archaeolink Prehistory Park, both of which I have been involved with for many years, joined forces to present “Gadiefest 2009 – A Festival of Storytelling and Traditional Arts in the North East of Scotland.”   We hope this will become an annual event and look forward to 2010. Click Here to visit the Gadiefest Web page! 

Although the weather wasn’t on our side this year, Wickerman at Archaeolink on the 25th October was very enjoyable! Members of the Grampian Association of Storytellers and Aberdeen University Storytelling Society were telling spooky tales in the round house and I was once again hosting the Haunted Caverns with help from members of Historic Saltire.  This year we covered Sawney Bean, The Horseman’s Word, a ghost story from Blairs and the Plague in Aberdeen.

I was back at Archaeolink on the 15th November to tell stories in the roundhouse for the 4th Experimental Archaeology Conference.  And finally,  I was invited to be guest storyteller at  the Aberdeen University Storytelling Society on the 18th November – it’s always great to be invited along as I always have so much fun telling stories there!

2008 Events

Pauline meets “Auld Craobhie,” the ancient oak from Stanley Robertson’s story
The Grampian Association of Storytellers held their first Satellite Meeting of 2008 on the 23rd February at Archaeolink Prehistory Park. It was a great success and further Satellite Storytelling sessions in Aberdeenshire will be held for children in the future. For further details, see the GAS website or please feel free to contact me. (See “contacts” page). In the photo, Anna gets everyone dancing to the Frog Song!

In June, Stanley Robertson took a group of us out to the Old Road at Lumphanan to meet Auld Craobhie, the ancient oak tree from the story in his book “Exodus to Alford.” We heard a lot of the history of the area, with special relevance to the Scottish Traveller folk who regularly used to camp up the old road. We had a right fine picnic in the shade of Auld Craobhie and sang some of the ancient scots ballads we have been learning from Stanley.

Whilst visiting relatives across the pond in August, I was very pleased to meet up with some members of the Montreal Storyteller’s Guild. We swapped a few stories and it was lovely to see the similarities between the Montreal Guild and our own group of storytellers, GAS. I really enjoyed myself and look forward to hopefully meeting up again some time in the future!

In September, Maggie and I told stories at “Bodgefest” in Dunnottar Quarry. What an amazing setting for storytelling. Hopefully they’ll do it again next year – if so, I’m camping over!

Aberdeen University Storytelling Society which was great fun as always! They’re going to be guest starting at March 2009’s GAS FFF!



My second last event of the year was a Hallowe’en storytelling session at the Burn O’Vat Visitors Centre. Hallowe’en really is my favourite time of year for storytelling – and dressing up! There are so many ghost stories associated with the North East of Scotland. Here’s a link to the event – snh.org.uk and also to the poem I wrote after a childhood experience at the Vat! – Witches At The Burn O Vat

The year’s grand finale was, once again, Wickerman at Archaeolink and the storytelling challenge that is the Haunted Caves! This year we covered the tale of an Aberdeenshire graverobber, The Big Gray Man of Ben MacDhui, Osbarn the Smith and the Aberdeen witch trials – noting specifically the wicked deeds of one Jonet Wishart who was eventually burned for her sins on heading hill. I’ve already got a few plans for 2009, but I’m keeping them to myself for now!

These were just a few of my favourite events from 2008. Throughout the year, I was busy with GAS events (see the GAS web page, link below) and various events at Archaeolink.

2007 Events

Pauline Storytelling in the Green Futures Earth Lodge at 2007’s Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts
2007s Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts was my first time in the Green Futures Earth House – it was a wonderful experience, despite all the rain and that mud! Link to the Green Futures storytelling tent at Glastonbury – I was also asked to join John Rowe’s merry band of storytellers in the Kidz field and was convinced that this possibly the most fun pastime in the world!

Then more stories were to be had on the 30th June up on the Kincorth Hill (aka the Gramps!) as part of Aberdeen’s Treefest. Thankfully the sun came out and we had a good audience (both human and canine!) for our tree stories.

On Sunday 12th August 2007 GAS Storytellers coudl be found telling stories at the MRI 2007 Harbour Festival in Stonehaven. http://www.maritime-rescue-institute.org/


My next event was on the 16th October where I told fireside tales out on the shores of Loch Kinord at the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve. An audience of adults and children were made comfortable on waterproof beanbags and were warmed by a campfire while they heard tales of Battles, Beasts, Myths and Legends of the area. See the Scottish Natural Heritage web page for details! Or see the press release.

On Wednesday 17th October, I was guest storyteller at the Aberdeen University Storytelling Society. I was made very welcome by the members, judged the ABOC storytelling competition and was very impressed with the stories told!

On the 28th October, I could be found guiding a terrified public through the haunted caves at Archaeolink’s Wickerman event while other GAS storytellers were performing up at the round house.


Other Archaeolink events in 2007’s included the Medieval Craft Fair on the 1st April, Cooking Without Gas on the 22nd April, Prehistoric Fashion on the 3rd June, Metal Mayhem on the 16th June, Myths and Legends on the 7th October See Archaeolink’s Web Page for upcoming events. The centre is closed to the public from the end of October (re-opening 1st April 2008) but will be open to schools and corporate events over the winter.