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Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate

Ruth Archer 06 Oct 09 - 07:06 AM
Emma B 06 Oct 09 - 07:22 AM
MGM·Lion 06 Oct 09 - 07:44 AM
Ruth Archer 06 Oct 09 - 07:45 AM
Mrs_Annie 06 Oct 09 - 07:47 AM
Willa 06 Oct 09 - 08:02 AM
greg stephens 06 Oct 09 - 08:13 AM
Polly Squeezebox 06 Oct 09 - 10:50 AM
Wyrd Sister 06 Oct 09 - 10:59 AM
billybob 06 Oct 09 - 11:31 AM
Tug the Cox 06 Oct 09 - 11:45 AM
Mrs.Duck 06 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM
greg stephens 06 Oct 09 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,Wheatman 06 Oct 09 - 12:48 PM
eddie1 06 Oct 09 - 01:11 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM
Herga Kitty 06 Oct 09 - 01:34 PM
Northerner 10 Oct 09 - 10:44 AM
Santa 10 Oct 09 - 12:36 PM
Tig 10 Oct 09 - 12:42 PM
SylviaN 02 Nov 09 - 05:08 AM
Leadfingers 02 Nov 09 - 05:53 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 02 Nov 09 - 06:31 AM
Stower 02 Nov 09 - 07:17 AM
GUEST,dan keding 02 Nov 09 - 01:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Nov 09 - 01:47 PM
greg stephens 02 Nov 09 - 02:34 PM
Herga Kitty 02 Nov 09 - 02:43 PM
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Subject: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 07:06 AM

Press Release: 00.01, 01 Oct 2009


The Cumbrian based storyteller, Taffy Thomas, MBE, has today accepted the honorary position of first laureate for storytelling which will run for two years from January 2010 to January 2012.

The country's first laureate for storytelling was revealed and backed by Liverpool poet – Brian Patten and former Children's Laureate – Michael Rosen on Saturday 26 September, 2009 - a few months after the celebrated storyteller marked his silver wedding anniversary and 60th birthday by the lake side of Windermere.

The honorary position is officially awarded and celebrated at three official, public, launch events for the position, as the centrepiece of the tenth National Storytelling week in 2010. The first will be held at the British Library in London on Saturday 30 January, 2010. The second will be held at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery on Tuesday 2 February and the third will be held at Seven Stories museum in Newcastle on Saturday 6 February, 2010. Already the grand old man of stories, Taffy Thomas, MBE, is getting ready to enthuse and entertain about storytelling, the oldest art form that is practised and enjoyed across the nation each day – on the bus, on the phone, at work, in school, on stage, in print or over the nations radio and tv broadcast airwaves.

The official patrons and 'Guardians of the story' include:
The Liverpool poet Brian Patten, Michael Rosen (poet, broadcaster and former Children's Laureate), Peter Chand (Storyteller), Simon Thirsk (Chairman – Bloodaxe books) and Del Reid (the National director of storytelling week) and Patsy Heap (Director of Children's services and libraries in Birmingham).

The best selling, popular Liverpool poet and children's writer, Brian Patten said:
"Taffy will make a great ambassador for storytelling."

The former Children's Laureate and BBC radio broadcaster, Michael Rosen said:
"I'm so pleased for Taffy. Anything that helps support the oral tradition of storytelling gets my vote."

Taffy Thomas, MBE, and first laureate for storytelling said:

"It is with huge pleasure that I accept the invitation to become the first Storytelling Laureate.

Over the two years, I will do all within my power to promote the art and to encourage the passing on of both repertoire and skills. I will endeavour to lay a firm foundation for future storytelling laureates and believe this is an exciting new development for storytelling, and I am delighted and honoured to be involved at the start of a new chapter in the life of our art."

The honorary position is awarded by the guardians of the story and is an original idea and initiative of the poet and writer, Adrian Johnson. He said:

"Stories inspire and encourage us at critical moments in our lives and with the brilliant success of the poet laureate and other regional projects the time seemed right to honour the oral tradition of storytelling and those that tell them."

The first Laureate for storytelling is awarded and organised by the independent production company: 'kindandgenerous' of Smethwick, England. The post holder also receives seven wonderful objects as a gift including: 1kg bag of dried beans, a simple compass, a packet of love hearts, a clear glass bottle, a tall white candle, a silver, lucky charm bracelet and a whistle.

During his official two year term of office Taffy will undertake many official engagements across the length and breadth of the UK.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Emma B
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 07:22 AM

Wonderful news!

I've been a fan of Taffy since the fondly remembered days of Charivari and the Fabulous Salami Brothers.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 07:44 AM

Is this the same Taffy Thomas [must be surely] who used to do the great mixed-media act called Magic Lantern which I wrote up for the TES about 35 years ago? Chris & Pete Coe were associated with it, as I recall.

Well done, Taffy. All best regards   - Michael


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 07:45 AM

Yes, Michael, it is.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Mrs_Annie
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 07:47 AM

That's brilliant. Congratulations Taffy - look froward to seeing lots of you next year.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Willa
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 08:02 AM

Well desrved!


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 08:13 AM

Brilliant. Richly deserved.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Polly Squeezebox
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 10:50 AM

A real cause for celebration and fireworks - yes, I too remember Taffy from the days of Charivari and the fire shows he organised at Chippenham Festival.

Congratulations, Taffy, but watch out for the competition from our politicians, they're always telling us stories too!


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Wyrd Sister
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 10:59 AM

Good news.
Hey - this and EFDSS funding - are we in danger of becoming a recognised subculture?


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: billybob
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 11:31 AM

Well done Taffy, happy memories of Campsey Ash!


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 11:45 AM

Well done Taffy, I remember the magic lantern inn the early 70's. John Kirkpatrick worked with it as well.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 12:21 PM

Great news!


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 12:24 PM

So, who are you billybob? I worked at Campsea Ashe a lot.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: GUEST,Wheatman
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 12:48 PM

Well done from all in Whittlesey


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: eddie1
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 01:11 PM

Well done Taffy.

I am prepared to increase the number of gifts to eight in the shape of one large portion of Lebanese Scrambled Eggs (or two portions if Chrissie is around!)
You'll have to come to Reading for them though!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM

Still remember that terrifying shadow·puppet retelling of The Story Of Orange: My Mother did kill me and bake me in pies; My Father did eat me and said I was nice...

Brrrr - still trembling after 40 years.

Thanks a bunch, Taffy....


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 06 Oct 09 - 01:34 PM

Oh, great news!

(And don't forget that Bill Caddick was also with Magic Lantern and they performed Brother Sun, Sister Moon...)

I think Taffy might have been the first person I saw performing a broom dance, in the Falcon ballroom at Bromyard about 4 decades ago.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Northerner
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 10:44 AM

Well done Taffy!


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Santa
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 12:36 PM

Heart-warming news, an excellent choice - but just how "official" is "official"? Is this just a collection of Good People thinking up a Good Idea and indulging in a bit of promotion? Is there a danger of damaging the "laureate" title by indulgent over-inflation?

To illustrate: if my wife and I were to award our Mishka the title "Cat Laureate", it would clearly meet with considerably less general approval, and possess considerably less credibility (it's ok, she's curled up asleep and not reading this), but would it be any less "official"?


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Tig
Date: 10 Oct 09 - 12:42 PM

Congratulations Taffy.

It couldn't have gone to a nicer fella.

Lots of love and hugs
Tig xxxxx


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: SylviaN
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:08 AM

We missed this thread when it first came out - absolutely wonderful news and so, so, so well deserved.

Congratulations, Taffy.

xxx

Sylvia and Keith


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 05:53 AM

Nice to see one of the 'Stalwarts' of the Folk Scene for SO Long getting a bit more recognition !


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 06:31 AM

and Taffy was featured on BBC Radio 4's Today programme this morning, and told a story!
Derek


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Stower
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 07:17 AM

Great news. Heard Taffy on Today (BBC Radio 4) this morning. As is usual when hearing Taffy tell a story, even on radio while I am in bed, my whole being stopped to listen and the rest of creation disappears as his words fill my imagination. Wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: GUEST,dan keding
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:39 PM

Great news!!! Taffy embodies the good that is in the folk tradition - he loves what he does and he loves his audience. England has been richer because of his telling and his hard work promoting the art of storytelling. Now he needs to visit us here in the States more often.

Love you Taffy!!!


Dan Keding


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 01:47 PM

Great news. At last a "laureate" who deserves the title.

For anyone who hasn't come across Taffy in the flesh, here's a YouTube clip of him, to give you a taster - with a very short story included, of course.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:34 PM

Taffy is one of those rare people who do two very different things in their lives, and do both supremely well. AS the ebullient dance caller and street theatre man, he was absolutely without equal, in my opinion. Bad luck with his health made him stop all that. He didn't curl up and grizzle, he gritted his teeth, reinvented himself and now is the top of the tree in his new field. Fantastic bloke.


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Subject: RE: Taffy Thomas: Storytelling Laureate
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 02 Nov 09 - 02:43 PM

It's measure of how much and for how long he has been a treasured pillar of the British folk scene that Taffy's ill-health in 1986 gave rise to Taffaid - in addition to collections for Sidmouth festival during the festival there were various hugely enjoyable fundraising events for Taffy including a silent singaround in the Dove at Sidmouth (with Bob Copper forgetting the words of the Innocent Hare and having to be prompted), a silent ceilidh in Dove Alley, Dame Pattie EPNS's stripper auction....

Kitty


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