In the 18th century, just before the invention of the Internet, the people of Worcester Park relied on a 'teller of tales' to entertain them with stories of local goings on.
Locals would gather each morning on Maeldune Greene to hear The Worcester Parke Blagger bemoan the volume of cattle being driven on the main track, update them on controversial plans to add more cottages to the settlement and to complain about poor service from local hostelries.
The art of storytelling has since been almost completely lost - a victim of the age of print, cinema, TV and DVDs. There are thankfully some who are dedicated to keeping the art alive.
Worcester Park resident Tim Ralphs contacted me to let me know about the storytelling circle which he helps to run in nearby Ewell:
"Storytelling is what it sounds like - someone standing up and telling a story (without notes etc) to a crowd. Think of a campfire with less fire and more indoors." (erm, hopefully if it's indoors there won't be any fire at all).
"Stories range from mythic cycles through folk stories to local history and personal anecdotes. I've been going for years and it never fails to grab me.
The next event is on the 29th January and we've got a professional storyteller, Tim Ralphs, telling "The Queen of Claywood Flats".
To quote the blurb "Tim takes inspiration from his home city of Sheffield and asks “What fae creatures dwell amidst these scenes of urban regeneration?” Weaving together a medley of traditional tales, the result has a flavour of Neil Gaiman, an echo of Chaucer, and yet remains immediate, entrancing, playful and above all unique.
Tim has been a "Young Storyteller of the Year" finalist and is now taking the country by storm with his dynamic storytelling. And he was born in Epsom!" .
For what it's worth he's one of the best storytellers I've heard and a great introduction to storytelling if you're curious."
You can find full details at http://www.