Discovering Neroche

Revealing the landscape

Fiona Barrow

Musician Fiona Barrow and storyteller Jane Flood are working with local people to explore the history and folklore of the landscape through music and story. Their work in 2008 included a series of performances and workshops leading up to the culmination of their work in November... Punkie Night!

Over 250 people turned out to celebrate a new version of an old Somerset tradition -  at Castle Neroche on Saturday 15th November 2008.

Children and parents from four local schools came together with many other members of the public for a spectacular lantern procession at nightfall, up the hill to Castle Neroche. At the Castle there was music, song and storytelling around a ceremonial tree bedecked with lanterns, representing the four seasons, and an open fire in the beautiful forest setting. 

The Neroche Scheme worked with local children from Culmstock, Churchstanton, West Buckland and Thurlbear to create stories and poems for the event, which was a celebration of the seasons and the landscape. The school children made their own lanterns, of willow and tissue paper, which were carried on the procession. The event attracted people of all ages from the local community.

Jane and Fiona led the creative work for the event. Jane said: "We are delighted with how well the night went. We wanted this to be a real community event and are so glad that so many local people turned out to enjoy the celebrations. Fiona and I worked very closely with both children and adults to create the lantern procession, songs and stories that have made the night so magical.


Fiona Barrow added: "Punkie Night in an ancient Somerset tradition which we have taken and adapted to make this unique celebration.




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