Michael O'Leary: Hagstone Story Teller

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HERE ARE PAST EVENTS that were actually featured on the website, this might give you ideas!.....

PAST EVENTS in 2004 / 2003


21 December 2004, Moors Valley Country Park and Forest ten miles north of Bournemouth. Family Event ,"Tales by the Tree" 7pm - 9pm Cost: £6.50 per adult and £4.50 per child. Age(s): Adults. Join story teller Mike O'Leary around the Moors Valley Christmas Tree for a magical Christmas tale. A real treat for all the family. Mulled wine or hot chocolate and mince pies included. See also February 2005 event "A Ghostly Tale"



27 November 2004. Winchester City Museum.

"Telling tales at the City Museum"

Michael O'Leary, otherwise known as the Hagstone Storyteller, is to visit the City Museum in Winchester to tell tall tales, yarns and legends of old Winchester.

Come along and hear a traditional storyteller weave his tales of fearsome giants, heroes and pooks, all with a local flavour, for a family audience.

Prepare to be entertained with the legend of the Viking giant Colbrand who fought the English hero Guy of Warwick on Danemark Field just outside the Winchester City Walls. Hear the gruesome saga of Sigmund and the wolf, carved by King Canute onto the walls of his cathedral in Winchester, and, discover more about the mysterious sleepers under the hill!

Michael O'Leary is based in Southampton, but his stories are influenced by traditional folk tales from across the British Isles and beyond.

"Mike aims to bring alive local places, legendary events and ancient museum objects in the imaginations of his audience." said Sher Kent, visitor services manager at Winchester City Council's Museums Service, "The day promises to include exciting and spooky stories mixed with a little bit of music and a great deal of laughter".

Tales commence on Saturday 27 November 2004 at 11.00, 12.30, 2.00, and 3.30 pm. Admission to this special event is free and no booking is required, just turn up!

For more information contact Winchester Museums Service on 01962 848269, e-mail links given on their website here

4 November. Worthing College, Sussex 15:00. - 17:30 For people working in the early years sector there is a workshop from 18:30 - 21:00. Tel: 01903 707605 www.worthing.ac.uk



31 October. Halloween storytelling at Portsmouth City Museum, Museum Road, Portsmouth. 13:00 - 16:00. Tel: 02392 827261 www.portsmouthmuseums.co.uk

31 October."Spooky Stories". Itchen Valley Country Park, Allington Lane, West End, Southampton. 19:00 - 20:30 Tel: 02380 475082

Saturday 30th October. SNELLSMOOR COMMON, Berkshire. Storytelling Workshops at Snelsmore Common, Newbury DOWNLOAD PDF EVENT LEAFLET There will now also be Halloween storytelling there in the evening

29 October. Portchester Library. DOWNLOAD PDF EVENT LEAFLET 11:00 - 12:00 and 12.30 - 13:30

26 October. Netley Library. 11:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 14:30

21 October. For people working in the early years sector there is a workshop from 18:30 - 21:00 at Worthing College, Sussex. Tel: 01903 707605 www.worthing.ac.uk

16th Oct. Nautical tales from the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea. Held in "The Heyday of Sail" Gallery

Tel: 02392 819385


11th September. Heritage Open Day at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. Medieval Theme. 10.30 - 16:00 Phone:01793 463725 Website http://www.swindon.gov.uk/heritage/sbc-heritageweekend-lnk DOWNLOAD PDF EVENT LEAFLET

12 September. Testwood Lakes Nature Reserve, Totton, Southampton. Open day for the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, 10.30 - 4.0. Tel: 02380 667929

18th September. Stour Valley Festival, Bournemouth. A celebration of traditional crafts and local/organic produce. Tel: 01202 535140. DOWNLOAD PDF EVENT LEAFLET

19 September. Heathland Festival at the Avon Heath Country Park, nr. Ringwood. 11.0 - 4.0 Tel:01425 478470 www.dorsetcc.gov.uk/avonheath DOWNLOAD PDF EVENT LEAFLET

26 September. Joydens Wood, Dartford for North West Kent Countryside Partnership. Joydens Wood is off Summerhouse Drive which can be reached from Junctions 2 or 3 off the M25. 13:00 - 17:00 Tel: 01322 294727


Mike was FULLY committed on PRIVATE appearances for August 2004, sorry! Oh and in India too!

JULY 2004

1st July. Should you happen to be a headteacher in Monmouthshire, I'll be a telling a few stories after dinner at the Monmouthshire Headteachers Conference!

3rd July. Summer Fayre - Castle Hill Junior School, Basingstoke.

Sunday 4th July: Botley Summer Festival Phone: 02380 688213

10th July. St. Mary's Festival, Southampton. Tel: 02380 330869


17th and 18th July 2004. Overton Sheep Fair. Tel: 01256 773377

28th July 2004 14:00-15:00... Mike will be at the P.A.T.  2004 Annual Conference in Bournemouth. | Top

For members of the Professional Association of Teachers, Mike will be carrying out a seminar on storytelling from 2.0 p.m - 3.0 p.m on Wednesday 28th July, 2004. This is part of the PAT annual conference ( 26th July - 29th July) and will be held at the Royal Bath Hotel, Bournemouth. For PAT details the web site is www.pat.org.uk, or email:

JUNE 2004

2nd June 2004 (and also 16th Oct). Nautical tales from the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea. Tel: 02392 819385

Held in "The Heyday of Sail" Gallery

5th June. If you are a tenant of Testway Housing I will be telling stories at the Family Funday at Romsey Rapids.

12th June. Snelgrove Common, Berkshire. Storytelling Workshops at Snelsmore Common, Newbury


"Telling Tales" 22nd May at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery Bournemouth Download Flyer

Mike was honoured to be invited to formally open this event at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museaum on the 22nd May 2004


13th June. Summer Fayre - Dunannies Bedale Pre-Prep School, Steep nr. Petersfield.

MAY 2004

16th May 2004 Catherington Lith Living Woodland Fair



Mike returns to the Catherington Lith Living Woodland Fair: "A celebration of woodlands in the local community"

Horndean Parish Council's Countryside Team organise this fun day for all the family at Catherington Lith Local Nature Reserve in May each year.

From the Website:: "This FREE event, now a regular feature of the Parish Council's activities calendar, runs from 10am to 4pm and always promises to be a great day out in the local countryside for children and adults.

The activities and events change a little each year. At previous fairs children and adults have enjoyed displays by the local falconers, The Purbrook Bowmen and historical re-enactment groups alongside more hands on activities. Chainsaw sculptor, Simon Bartlam has been with us in the noisy area whilst in quieter woodland settings Hagstone storyteller, Mike O'Leary has captured young imaginations. Other past displays have included charcoal making, pole lathe turning and a host of local wildlife and conservation groups such as local Bat groups, Butterfly Conservation and East Hampshire Badger Group."

11th May 2004 Aldershot Library. Storytelling for children.. The starting time is 9.30 a.m.Tel: 01428 723068

1st May. The Arts Institute, Bournemouth. "Telling Tales", Saturday Junior Art School.

3rd May 2004 Gosport Living History Society, Little Woodham Village, Gosport. Part of the May Day festivities. .

Mike chats with helpers from "College Jeanne d'Arc - Saint Aspais", Fontainebleau, before telling stories to students from the college at Burley Youth Hostel in the New Forest. On the last evening of April the students, familiar with the forest of Fontainebleau, listened to stories from the New Forest

25th April. Grange Farm, Little Woodham Lane, Rowner, Gosport. Part of Wildlife, Gardening and Mammal Day. Tel: 02392 588666



14th April 2004: Liphook Library. Storytelling for children. Tel: 01428 723068


6th April 2004: Curtis & Allen Gallery, Alton. View Flyer

3rd and 4th April 2004: Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre

31st January 2004: "Storytelling at the Wayside", Whitchurch, Herefordshire

Whitchurch, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 6DJ. Content not appropriate for children. For details talk to Richard or Nick on 01600 890442, or email: See the website at www.waysideb-b.co.uk

PDF of the flyer is HERE


Thursday 11th December 2003 at 8:00PM: "Stories of Insomniac Fish"

Purbeck Gazette Article on a Past Event at the "S&C" click on the photo for a version you might just be able to read!


Mike will be told stories of insomniac fish at the "Square & Compass", no cover charge. The Square & Compass overlooks the Channel at Worth Matravers in Purbeck

......'A welcome return by Mike to the "Square & Compass" '

21st & 22nd December 2003: "Story telling and music"

On Sunday 21st and Monday 22nd December there will be storytelling and music from me at the Royal Marines Museum, Southsea and a visit from Father Christmas!

Friday 12th December 2003 18:30: "Stories for the Dark Season"

'Stories for the Dark Season. From Hollow Hills, Stagnant Ponds and Hilltop Tombs'. The Earthouse, Cranborne.

At The Earthhouse, Cranbourne

"Stories for the Dark Season, From Hollow Hills, Stagnant Ponds and Hilltop Tombs"

Friday 12th December 2003 at 18:30

Why not view and save a flyer for this event here (PDF file needs Acrobat Reader))

ALSO: Download or view a Full Colour Brochure as a 1.1MB ( 4 Minutes @ 56k) PDF file here. this may also need but you can get Adobe Acrobat Reader here for free!

From the Dorset County Council Website about the event:

"Michael O'Leary, otherwise known as the Hagstone Storyteller, comes from a background of Irish, Welsh and English ancestry and was raised in Scotland and the west of England; which may be why so many of his stories are rooted in the West Country. Mike's particular aim is to encourage people to recognise the stories that they have rattling around in their own heads! The evening promises to include some gruesome, spooky stories but also music and a great deal of laughter. Hear the story of the crumbling skeletons found in Waylands Smithy, of Jenny Greenteeth lurking in the millpond; hear how flight was possible between the west of Ireland and Corfe Castle five hundred years before Ryanair, and listen to the story of the copperaxe.

Michael O'Leary has travelled the length and breadth of his own back garden, and occasionally as far as the nearest pub, in his search for stories."

26th/27th/28th November 2003

For teachers and librarians: a workshop which was an optional part of the Hampshire Primary English Conference. The conference featured the Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo at the Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke (location info here) on the 26th November 2003 and the Botley Grange Hotel (approximate location info here) on the 27th and 28th November.


SADLY the following events are listed without a lot of "webby content" (as before this date Mikes Webmaster (me) thought that Mikes only function in life was to drive his daughter to the violin ("fiddle" as MIke calls it) lessons my partner gives):

Portsmouth City Museum - "Out to Lunch". 2nd November 2003. Tel: 02392 827261

Halloween Storytelling for families. Itchen Valley Country Park, Southampton. 31st October 2003 Tel: 02380 475082

"Reading, Riting and Rumpus, Basingstoke." Festival Place Shopping Centre. 31st October 2003.

"Hollow Hills and a Winter Moon; Stories from the Turn of the Seasons." Evening storytelling session for adults. Charminster Library, Bournemouth. Tel: 01202 454827

Apple Day. Hermitage Wildlife Garden, Gosport. Gosport Borough Council. 02392 580181

Royal Marines Museum Southsea. 11 & 12 Oct 2003 Tel: 02392 819385

Warwick Words Festival. Teachers workshop and storytelling at Warwick Museum. 2nd & 3rd August 2003.  Tel: 01926 412132/412021

Strouden Library, Bournemouth. Storytelling for children. Tel: 01202 454827

Lower Test Nature Reserve, Southampton. Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. 21st September 2003. Tel:02380 688910

Zions Hill Copse, Chandlers Ford. Community Woodfair. 30th August 2003. tel: 01264 368899  www.testvalley.gov.uk

Beacon Hill, Basingstoke, 10th August 2003. Basingstoke Festival. Tel: 01256 845684 www.basingstoke.gov.uk/festival

Portsmouth City Museum - "Try Something Different, Learn a New Skill". Storytelling sessions to encourage people to tell their own stories. 7th August: 2003. Tel: 02392 827261  www.portsmouthmuseums.co.uk (bad link rebuilt 10.10.2004)

Forest Bus Children's Event, Gang Warily Recreation Ground, Fawley, 6th August 2003 & New Milton Youth Centre, 8th August 2003. Tel: 02380 243888. - New Forest and Romsey Mobile Community Project.

Portsmouth Central Library. 26th July 2003. Tel: 02392 688030

Larmer Tree Festival, Tollard Royal. 20th July 2003. Tel: 01725 552300 www.larmertree.co.uk

Home-Zone Consultation Day, Parsonage Road, Northam, Southampton. Children's storytelling in the middle of the road! 19th July 2003. Tel: 02380 635083

Dot dot dot...

NOTE: For pre Summer 2003 stuff, you can take a look at the newspaper cuttings for some of the press coverage Mike has acrued in the past, that is of course if you are a Luddite who uses Adobe Acrobat. ( I believe both Mike & I prefer the Rebecca Rioters to the Luddites as they had far better dress sense - engraving left from the Illustrated London News. 1843 )


Listen to Mike here using player (download real player here)

What the Papers Said......Find out for yourself!

“Children take off their shoes and gather on the silk to be transported into a land of hobgoblins and genies, Old Nan or Green-fingered Jenny. This group were soon spirited away.”

Alton Gazette and Advertiser

“Accompanying his words with the haunting lilt of wooden pipes, there was at one point a distinct resemblance to Hamelin’s Pied Piper.”

Hampshire Chronicle

“Many of Michael’s tales may have their roots obscured by the mists of time but they are very relevant to the modern day.”

Southern Evening Echo

.....Find out for yourself!

All content unless 3rd Party is Copyrighted © Michael O'Leary "The Hagstone Story Teller" & Dr John C Bullas. The email addresses shown on this page are protected from attracting "spam" via Javascript generated mailto: links. Mikes Webmaster will work for other interesting people too (but not other storytellers!)