Ringing in this year's Storytelling Festival

The 30th Scottish International Storytelling Festival his underway following a reception on Friday.

Donald Smith, Festival Director, praised the partners and individuals who all collaborate to bring the Storytelling Festival together, stating that without the artists, there would be no Festival, and praising the communities who get involved in the Main Programme, as well as organise their own regional activities through the Local Campaign.

Ruth Kirkpatrick, Scottish Storytelling Forum Chair and storyteller for the first event, welcomed the world with a ream of ‘hellos’ across languages, exclaiming how excited she was to be back at the Centre during the vibrant Storytelling Festival, when you can feel the creativity and exchange wonderful stories.

The Festival was officially opened by Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, who expressed his delight at returning for a second year, sharing his love of storytelling for the gathered audience, who nodded sagely along as he stated: “Storytelling breeds understanding and pride in your history and culture”.

Cllr Wilson was also equally excited to get to ring the Netherbow Bell again, a toll for Scotland’s capital to Grow Stories. The 400 year-old Netherbow Bell is a beautiful piece of craftmanship with a rich history, that not many people are aware of. Made by Michael Burgerhuis in Middelburg in 1621, the Bell is inscribed with Latin text and the City of Edinburgh coat of arms.

Commenting, Cllr Wilson said: “The Edinburgh Bell originally hung in the tower of the Netherbow port, a grand gateway through Edinburgh’s city walls, half way down the High Street. Hence the name of the nearby World’s End pub for many Edinburgh residents, as this was where their world ended! Its noise signalled communication with the city – a summons or announcement, heralding danger of attack or fire, or a call to arms to protect the city.

“Just like the Netherbow Bell, storytelling is based on centuries of older human culture, when what was shared through the spoken word, and held in the memory, was fundamental in the absence of books. Live storytelling is magical – so get along to the remainder of the Festival and enjoy carefully chosen and crafted stories, presented with enthusiasm, to stir your own curiosity, imagination and learning.” 

The Storytelling Festival runs until Wed 31 October.

The Local Campaign runs until Fri 30 November.

For further details visit www.sisf.org.uk

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