Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent many a day idling around Glot’s Hope in search of the strange and unusual.
By Glot’s Hope I mean Glossop, which is said to derive from an Anglian farmer or unknown chieftain by the name of Glot. Hope is an old English suffix meaning valley… perhaps it’s something about looking up at those ancient hills, ascending their grassy slopes towards the sky, searching out the old gods.
And by strange I mean local folklore, urban legend, ancient myth; stories which abound here in Glossop thanks to its particular landscape and rich local history.
Don’t worry, I haven’t been hanging around like an unwelcome ghost, I was invited to haunt the town as part of my artist residency with George Street Community Bookshop. (You can read more about my residency here or read the full case study on my artist website)
While I didn’t manage to spot the elusive Peak District Panther or make a Faustian deal with the water sprite of Mermaid’s Pool, I did meet plenty of interesting locals who shared many a yarn with me. The breadth of stories was as wide as the tales themselves were tall, and I loved hearing each one. I took inspiration from these tales to take people on a walk through the landscape, and later create some small linoblocks (bookmark-size, of course!) for people to print and take home with them.
But one thing I especially enjoyed during my residency was running a small creative writing group with a few locals, upstairs at the bookshop. Together we took inspiration from the old tales to spin up new myths; fictions nestled in the reality of the unique local landscape. We performed these stories in the bookshop for Halloween. And now – here they are in a zine, especially for you.