Ales and Tales Stories gathered by Adrian Spendlow
I am pleased to present for you the gathered stories from Ales n Tales. As a storyteller, and a writer it was quite a change to be asked to travel around listening to others telling me of their experiences. On a few occasions indeed, the people I was mixing with told me that they believed it was a dream job; the reason for this of course that the job involved hanging around in pubs. An experience that I must admit I quite enjoyed. The chief element that made this job enjoyable was the company; the people I met. It became obvious to me almost straight away however that I would have little control of the situation throughout the series of visits; when folks are relaxed they talk about whatever they want, whatever interests them. I can tell you there are some interesting people out there.
When I turn up for a performance somewhere I always plan to do ‘what it says on the tin’, no matter what I have planned out for a set if the publicity says something slightly different then that is what people will be expecting. It wasn’t quite like that with this project. The brief was to gather tales, anecdotes, memories, historical info from York residents on the topic of York and indeed on the topic of York pubs. As I say, relaxed and chatty people cover the topics they want to cover.
This is the big York story: my week of travelling around listening gave me an overall impression of York people that may represent a larger feel or atmosphere, either just in pubs and bars, or perhaps more generally across the city, and here it is – We are global – We are aware – And we are interested in the world.
As ‘Mussy’ said while showing me his collection of postcards and photos, you can stand at one end of the bar and the world comes to visit you.
I was overwhelmed by tales, whether simple experiences or vivid memories, York people have been everywhere, met everyone, and have stuff to report back.
International ghost stories, Wide ranging connections with family and friends, Mystical experiences in rainforests, the happenstance of catching a Narwhal, how to run from polar bears; York people do indeed have lots of memories of pubs and of York through the ages but they have a far wider range of interests and experiences. Read on for a bit of an adventure in the pubs of York…
Here are links to all the sites, pubs and organisations who helped make Ales n Tales possible.