10 episodes

Professional storyteller Amanda Kane-Smith brings the folktales of England to life. Each week after the story, Amanda interviews someone who has a connection with the story or place. Accompanied with music by folk musician Paul Sartin, all these stories are different, and will appeal to listeners young and old.

Test Valley Tales Podcast Merry-go-Round Storytelling

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Professional storyteller Amanda Kane-Smith brings the folktales of England to life. Each week after the story, Amanda interviews someone who has a connection with the story or place. Accompanied with music by folk musician Paul Sartin, all these stories are different, and will appeal to listeners young and old.

    Episode 10: The Wild Horses of Wellow

    Episode 10: The Wild Horses of Wellow

    This episode’s Test Valley Tale is a spookily magical tale. It’s a mash up of a local ghost sighting of a horse drawn carriage on New Year’s Eve, and an Aesop’s fable - ‘The Horse, Hunter and Stag’.
    I wanted to create an origin story for the ghost sighting. And as Wellow sits by the edge of the New Forest, I thought it would be fun to connect the horse drawn carriage with the New Forest ponies.
    The story takes place during a cold Winter, food is sparse and so the horses are forced to share their food on the common with the deer, who usually stay hidden in the forest. Two horses, Sundew and Bracken, begrudge sharing their food and so when a human stranger appears, and offers to fetch his bow and arrow, the two horses enter into a pact which ultimately leads to their demise.
    This story is set on Canada Common, just outside the village of Wellow which on the edge of the New Forest.
    After the story, I share some local folklore and interview Clare Young who owns two beautiful horses Bree and Tallulah. We discuss animal behaviour, New Forest Ponies and how our well-being can benefit from engaging with animals.
    This episode is accompanied with music by renowned folk musician Paul Sartin.
    ’Test Valley Tales’ is an Arts Council Funded project and one of Test Valley Arts Foundation’s Borough of Culture Legacy Projects. All the stories are set in the beautiful landscape of Test Valley which is in Hampshire in England.
    There is also an illustrated book of the all the stories which accompanies this podcast. This is available from my website. Please see link below.
    Story written by Amanda Kane-Smith, based on a local ghost sighting and the Aesop’s fable ‘The Horse, Hunter and Stag.’
    Podcast produced by Miles Kane-Smith.
    Music by Paul Sartin recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell.
    Test Valley Tales can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as @testvalleytales.
    For more information, please go to:
    www.merry-go-roundstorytelling.co.uk/testvalleytales

    • 46 min
    Episode 9: The Enchanted Flute of Sadler’s Mill

    Episode 9: The Enchanted Flute of Sadler’s Mill

    This episode’s Test Valley Tale is a magical tale with environmental themes and is perfect listening for folktale lovers young and old.
    One morning when Tom the miller goes to collect wood for his fire, he finds himself in a strange new world where trees can talk and a water nixie gives him a gift of an enchanted flute. Having begun so well, will Tom continue to make the right decisions to live in harmony with nature. And will he remember the Water Nixie’s warning - never to use the flute for anything that goes against nature?
    This story is set at Sadler’s Mill in Romsey and is based on an Estonian folk tale called ‘Mikku and the trees’. My inclusion of a water nixie in this story is a nod to the Brothers Grimm.
    After the story, I take a walk from Sadler’s Mill to the centre of Romsey and share some of the facts and folklore I learnt while researching the story along the way.
    This episode is accompanied with music by renowned folk musician Paul Sartin.
    ’Test Valley Tales’ is an Arts Council Funded project and one of Test Valley Arts Foundation’s Borough of Culture Legacy Projects. All the stories are set in the beautiful landscape of Test Valley which is in Hampshire in England.
    There is also an illustrated book of the all the stories which accompanies this podcast. This is available from my website. Please see link below.
    Hope you enjoy it!
    Story written by Amanda Kane-Smith, based on an Estonian folk tale.
    Podcast produced by Miles Kane-Smith.
    Music by Paul Sartin recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell.
    Test Valley Tales can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as @testvalleytales.
    For more information, please go to:
    www.merry-go-roundstorytelling.co.uk/testvalleytales

    • 43 min
    Episode 8: The Magical Fish of Mottisfont

    Episode 8: The Magical Fish of Mottisfont

    This episode‘s Test Valley Tale is a magical wish story.

    As Mary makes her weekly trip along the Sprat and Winkle Railway line from Stockbridge to Mottisfont, she encounters a fish on a bridge! This is when things take a turn for the magical as the fish offers her a wish. Just one wish.

    What will Mary wish for?

    ‘The Magical Fish of Mottisfont’ is my version of a traditional tale called ‘The Clever Wish’ or ‘The Wise Wish’. Sometimes the wish giver is a deer and in some versions, it can even be a unicorn! I thought here in Test Valley, with our beautiful chalk rivers and streams, the wish giver should be a trout!

    After the story, there is an interview with two amazing children – Rosa who is 10 and Owen who is 12. I was so impressed with their knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural world, that I think this interview really illustrates the idea behind Test Valley Tales, and that is to encourage people to get out and explore where we live and rediscover it’s magical places through its stories.

    As David Attenborough says:

    “No one will protect what they don‘t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced”




    The episode is accompanied with music by renowned folk musician Paul Sartin and Hampshire Country Dance Tunes from the Pyle family manuscript of 1822, recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell. 

    This story is part of Test Valley Tales.

    ‘Test Valley Tales‘ is an Arts Council Funded project and one of Test Valley Arts Foundation‘s Borough of Culture Legacy Projects. All the stories are set in the beautiful landscape of Test Valley which is in Hampshire in England.

    There is also an illustrated book of the all the stories which accompanies this podcast. This is available from my website. Please see link below.

    Hope you enjoy it!

     Story written by Amanda Kane-Smith, based on a traditional Irish folk tale.

    Podcast produced by Miles Kane-Smith.

    Music by Paul Sartin recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell.

     Test Valley Tales can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as @testvalleytales.

    For more information please go to:

    www.merry-go-roundstorytelling.co.uk/testvalleytales

    • 43 min
    Episode 7: The White Trout of Stockbridge

    Episode 7: The White Trout of Stockbridge

    This is a magical tale of love and tragedy, set in one of Test Valley’s beautiful chalk rivers.
    Isolda and Benen discover their shared love for each other and the natural world, and plan to get married. When tragedy strikes, however, a legend is created and ultimately tested by someone who has lost his belief in magic.
    This is my adaptation of ‘The White Trout’ which originates in Ireland. My version is written for the beautiful location of Stockbridge in Test Valley.
    After the story, I interview Maggie Shelton, from Watercress and Winterbournes, and learn about how these beautiful habitats were created, and how we can get involved and help protect them for the future.
    The episode is accompanied with music by renowned folk musician Paul Sartin and Hampshire Country Dance Tunes from the Pyle family manuscript of 1822, recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell.
    This story is part of Test Valley Tales.
    ‘Test Valley Tales‘ is an Arts Council Funded project and one of Test Valley Arts Foundation‘s Borough of Culture Legacy Projects. All the stories are set in the beautiful landscape of Test Valley which is in Hampshire in England.
    There is also an illustrated book of the all the stories which accompanies this podcast. This is available from my website. Please see link below.
    Hope you enjoy it!
    Story written by Amanda Kane-Smith, based on a traditional Irish folk tale.
    Podcast produced by Miles Kane-Smith.
    Music by Paul Sartin recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell.
    Test Valley Tales can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as @testvalleytales.
    For more information please go to:
    www.merry-go-roundstorytelling.co.uk/testvalleytales

    • 35 min
    Episode 6: The Wandering Tree of Danebury Ring

    Episode 6: The Wandering Tree of Danebury Ring

    Set in one of Hampshire‘s most famous landmarks: the Iron Age Hillfort of Danebury Hill, this week‘s episode is a magical story which brings to life the wood which circles the fort.

    The story takes place in the 16th century when a Royal Charter was granted for Danebury to be used as a site for a rural fair, on a very hot day in late July, as John the farm labourer had just finished work having been given the afternoon off to go to the fair.
    Little did he suspect the strange and unusual things that were about to happen to him …

    This is a perfect story for all the family

    After the story, I chat with Peter Norton from The Ancient Yew Group who tells me some fascinating facts about amazing Yew trees!

    The episode is accompanied with music by renowned folk musician Paul Sartin and Hampshire Country Dance Tunes from the Pyle family manuscript of 1822.

    This story is part of Test Valley Tales.

    ‘Test Valley Tales‘ is an Arts Council Funded project and one of Test Valley Arts Foundation‘s Borough of Culture Legacy Projects. All the stories are set in the beautiful landscape of Test Valley which is in Hampshire in England.

    There is also an illustrated book of the all the stories which accompanies this podcast. This is available from my website. Please see link below.

    Hope you enjoy it!

    Story written by Amanda Kane-Smith, based on a traditional English folk tale.

    Podcast produced by Miles Kane-Smith.

    Music by Paul Sartin recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell.

    Test Valley Tales can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as @testvalleytales.

    For more information please go to:

    www.merry-go-roundstorytelling.co.uk/testvalleytales

    • 30 min
    Episode 5 - The Cockatrice of Wherwell

    Episode 5 - The Cockatrice of Wherwell

    In this episode I tell one of Hampshire‘s most famous stories. And best of all it‘s about a dragon!

    With the head of a cockerel and the tail of a serpent, this type of dragon is known as a cockatrice, and this one caused chaos in the little village of Wherwell about 400 years ago... or so they say.

    This is a great story for all the family and I have also created a cockatrice puppet template which can be downloaded from my website and used to join in with the storytelling. (See below).

    After the story, I chat with Kenton Clarke-Williams from the Andover Museum who tells me some fascinating facts about the story and how it links with the history of Wherwell.

    This episode has an added bonus at the end, as I have been lucky enough to be given permission to include a song recorded back in 1995 by the children of Wherwell Primary School. This was part of a project organised by musician Roger Watson in collaboration with Chilean musician Mauricio Venegas-Astorga. The song is called ‘The Wherwell Cockatrice‘. 

    The episode is accompanied with music by renowned folk musician Paul Sartin who took his inspiration for this episodes story theme from this song. 

    This story is part of Test Valley Tales.

    ‘Test Valley Tales‘ is an Arts Council Funded project and one of Test Valley Arts Foundation‘s Borough of Culture Legacy Projects. All the stories are set in the beautiful landscape of Test Valley which is in Hampshire in England.

    There is also an illustrated book of the all the stories which accompanies this podcast. This is available from my website. Please see link below.

    Hope you enjoy it!

    Story written by Amanda Kane-Smith, based on a traditional English folk tale.

    Podcast produced by Miles Kane-Smith.

    Music by Paul Sartin recorded at WildGoose Records in Wherwell.




    Test Valley Tales can be found on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as @testvalleytales.

    For more information please go to:

    www.merry-go-roundstorytelling.co.uk/testvalleytales

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

bok37 ,

Brilliant, fun and informative

The whole family enjoyed listening to this and picking out details from our local area. Local walks will be much more exciting thinking about these stories when we are out and about!

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