When Ruth and Lotte came to Halsway


One of the aspects I really enjoy in projects like this one is the Community Engagement as it’s always really interesting to see how the public bring their own ideas to the work.  Recently I was invited to Halsway Manor’s annual Fete to run a shadow puppet workshop and I took along a shadow theatre and a couple of helpers so that the guests could make some of their own puppets and then have ago at their own production.

I was really pleased to see how both the children and adults responded to the puppets. I always feel that my own animation silhouette puppets almost come alive once the lights turn on behind them and its interesting to see the children playing with their puppets and experiencing that little bit of magic once they sit behind the screen and cast their shadows. I like to think that it would have made both Ruth and Lotte smile.

Thanks to Kieran, Lauren and Mollie for all their help on the day.


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Catcheldy: adjective. Changeable or uncertain (Southwest England dialect)


The Castle of Twelve Towers by Ruth Tongue. Copyright Somerset Heritage Centre. Document reference A\CPY/1/2


I know I have been a little quiet over the last couple of weeks, which is due to me working on my animation. However, I thought it might be nice to share with you some images from Ruth Tongue’s book, ‘The Castle of Twelve Towers’.

You may recall I previously mentioned that during my research I had discovered a book, written and illustrated by Ruth Tongue, held at the Somerset Heritage Centre.  The book is dated 25thSeptember 1916, when Ruth would have been 18 years old and is dedicated to ‘My dear old Dad and my Little Mother’. It is a collection of hand written fairy stories and illustrations all completed by Ruth Tongue and it is a real labour of love. Interestingly, many of the illustrations are created on the back of the drawings that Ruth Tongue had created during her art studies at Harrow College.

I have been waiting for permission to share the images of the book with you. Unfortunately, Somerset Archives have been unable to contact the original depositor but have now generously given their permission. You can of course look at the book yourselves, it is held at the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton under reference A/CPY/1/2. I am also very pleased to tell you that Halsway Manor have plans underway to introduce images of the book to their own resources.

If you do manage to look at the original book or even spend a moment looking at the photographs of Ruth Tongue’s work I hope you find you are able to appreciate the talent and dedication shown by an 18 year old in completing this work. However, what I would really like to ask you to do is change, or at least be a little less certain, of any belief that her work is unworthy, as she is just a discredited folklorist, and allow me to reintroduce Ruth Tongue to you as a credible artist, performer, writer and lyricist. In short try to be a little more catcheldy in your categorisation of her.

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