Some of the Primary Schools in our Parish wanted to get involved in our on line event. Check out their videos below.
Young People Create Warsop Old Hall Horrible Histories
Warsop Old Hall Project Team launched a competition back in November, to encourage young people to learn a little more about The Old Hall and their local history. The team wanted to give young people an opportunity to use what they had discovered to produce a piece of creative writing, with the theme Horrible History.
A group of local judges were called upon to deliberate and to decide upon the winners. The team were amazed at the quality of the stories created and with the imaginative use of the Old Hall as a setting. One of the judges, Peter Birchenall said “It was a privilege to be invited to join the judging panel, which uncovered a pleasing array of talent which hopefully, for some, will be taken further.”
Included in the judging panel were local residents:
Connie May, a local young poet and author, with two published poetry collections. She recently graduated from university with a Masters degree in creative writing and plans to release her first fiction novel in the future, alongside other poetry collections.
Mary Birchenall, a retired Senior Lecturer from the University of Leeds where she taught Sociology in the Department of Healthcare. Mary missed the stimulus of academic writing, a part of her role that she had really enjoyed. Having no need to write for professional publication she found that writing could be personal and emotional. So she wrote stories for her grandchildren and then moved into poetry. Mary said “I have some really good poems and some ‘Oh dear!’ ones too.”
Peter Birchenall, an academic, who published a lot of articles and upon retirement took up creative writing and became immersed in the world of short stories and poetry where he has had some success in writing competitions.
The judging panel was also made up of Vibrant Warsop’s Mike Payne who has a background in developing creative projects and solutions for not-for-profit organisations. He also creates and writes for enjoyment and has had some articles published.
Local Scriptwriter, Drama Practitioner and Lecturer in Writing for Performance at The University of Derby, Stacey Moon-Tracy was also part of the judging panel.
It was so difficult to choose winners, as the quality of the stories, was so good, and because of this the team decided to give every entrant a prize of a certificate, a notebook and pens as well as offering them some feedback. Some competition entrants will receive these after Christmas, due to Covid, but they are all waiting for you. Mary said that “I hope that this short story competition encourages the participants and those who read their stories to engage more with their creative side and carry on writing.” The project would love to continue receiving your stories or poems about Warsop’s History or the Old Hall, to display on our website or in our up and coming events. You can send those into: email@example.com
Without further ado, we would like to announce the winners of the competition and to share with you their work.
The winner of the Age 7 and under category: Sienna from Birklands School
The Eight Feet at The Old Hall
By Sienna, age 7
In 2016, a TV crew were planning to film an overnight stay at Warsop’s Old Hall. It is believed that the Old Hall is haunted by the ghost of John Johnson, who was flogged to death a few hundred feet up the road on Cuckney Hill, for selling his boots.
The four man crew set up secret cameras to capture any strange events. Their bodies were discovered the next morning covered in whip marks. Their feet had been cut off and found in the courtyard, still in their shoes.
After checking the camera footage for an explanation, you could see the four men talking at 1:05am before a bright light enters the room. The footage goes black for five minutes and then at 1:11am the footage comes back with the scene that the police found. Their deaths remain a mystery.
The judges were riveted by this gruesome and terrifying tale. They enjoyed the mystery and the unique idea of bringing in the TV crew to bring it into the present. Well done Sienna!
The winner of the Age 8-10 category: Amy Cary from King Edwin Primary School Edwinstowe.
The Ghost of Warsop Hall
By Amy Cary age 10
Sibilla and Cecily leaned against the wall of their carriage.
“Are we nearly there yet?” moaned Cecily.
Mother replied from the front of the carriage “About a minute, darling”
About a minute later their carriage ground to a shuddering halt. Sibilla and Cecily climbed out of the carriage jostling and shoving each other.
“So where is it?” said Sibilla “I can’t see any grand house.”
“It’s right there” said Father, pointing to a ramshackle cottage in front of them.
“That!” said Sibilla.
“That’s not a grand house” said Cecily.
“It’s so bad. Look at all those holes in the roof” said Sibilla.
Half an hour later, Mother said “Girls, I’m going to the Hall to deliver some cloth. Would you like to come with me?”
“Yes!” Sibilla and Cecily chorused.
“I heard that it’s the home of the famous Baron called William de Ros, the sixth.” Sibilla said.
“Anyway girls, you might want to stay and play with the baron’s children, Robert and Christiana” Mother suggested.
An hour or two later Mother had finished selling her cloth and Robert, Sibilla, Cecily and Christiana were sitting in the tree house in the grounds of the Hall.
“Hey!” said Robert “I heard off the maid that there’s a ghost in the Hall. Apparently, it haunts the Hall all night and anyone who comes close disappears.”
“Don’t be silly, Robert” said Christiana.
“Well, if it is nothing” said Robert “why don’t you girls sleep over and we could look out for the ghost?”
It was midnight and Cecily put her feet on the cold flagstones of the Hall’s floor and shivered. Upstairs the Hall’s clock struck midnight. She heard Robert and Christiana’s feet pattering down the cold stone steps. She and Sibilla hurried to join them.
After they’d silently ran down the worn steps, they sat in a large alcove behind a rusting suit of armour and took out two cold pieces of meat which they split in two. Sibilla chewed nervously on a corner of her meat, “I wish we hadn’t come” she squeaked.
Just then a large wail erupted from further down the hall. Christiana gulped.
“Yes, sis. Just as you said, I’m sure it’s nothing.” Robert said, a smug smile on his face.
“Let’s split up and look for clues” said Robert. “Right, I’ll go forwards and Christiana follows me and splits off at the first right turn. Sibilla, go down the steps to the cellar and Cecily goes backwards.”
Half an hour later, Christiana’s scream echoed through the Hall. Everyone ran just in time to see Christiana’s arm and head disappearing in a cloud of golden glitter.
“The ghost!” she said, her voice echoed so it sounded like ost, ost, ost…
Robert, Cecily and Sibilla stared in horror at what was now behind where Christiana had been. A ghost or more exactly, a severed head floated in the air. A hand appeared from thin air and reached towards them. Christiana was never seen again.
Congratulations Amy, the judges really did enjoy your story. The story is very imaginative but it was underpinned with facts. The dialogue and vivid descriptions made this story live off the page.
The winner of the Age 11+ category was: Phoebe Gale from Meden School
The Horror of Warsop
By Phoebe Gale age 11
It has been 6 months. 6 tense and fear-stricken months since the first victim was discovered on the outskirts of the small village of Warsop. Elvira lay sleeping but not peacefully. Her limbs thrashed wildly, beads of sweat cascaded down her forehead and her face contorts with terror. Elvira’s husband had been the first, the first victim. His body twisted and mangled found by the baker’s son, teeth missing and face frozen in horror.
The following morning Peter the local priest walks through the town centre when suddenly Elvira grabs his hand and startled him. He saw tears streaming down her pale face and immediately knew something had happened. “It was dreadful, the monster it had you too, I can’t bare it anymore I have already lost John I won’t lose you too” Elvira wept.
“It is okay little sister I am fine see; God will keep me safe,” he continues in hushed whispers “…and enough of this talk of monsters, people are starting to worry about you.” he squeezes her arm lovingly and with a smile turns away.
Peter arrives at his church a shiver running up his spine, he closes his eyes trying not to remember the gruesome scene that occurred every morning a new body was discovered. On those mornings when he walked into the church he always found a pile of teeth waiting at the altar.
The locals believed the murderer to be a man, a wanderer they called him. He arrived just before the first victim was found. He took shelter in the Old hall and no one saw him come out during days the bodies are found.
As Elvira opened the door to her home, she heard a commotion emitting from the Old Hall and tentatively headed towards the abnormal noise. She realises there is an angry mob banging on the door to the Old Hall. Just as they break through, they storm in towards the man. Seeing the crazed faces of the villagers the tall and unkempt man began to move swiftly toward his room bending his wiry frame to reach a peculiar, crooked trapdoor and slips uneasily beneath the floorboards. The raging mob rushes through the dark not a ray of light guiding their way. They see the man halfway through the other crooked trapdoor and grasp him by the ankles. They pile on top of him and tie him in shackles, dragging his trapped body to Cuckney hill with intention to tie him to the tree where a man was once before flogged to death for his crimes in 1706. They grasped their torches ready to burn the evil sins they had blamed him for.
Suddenly they hear the crackling of bones and turn to gaze upon the priest transforming into the monster who they had not believed in but still was ready to persecute an innocent man and the last glance they had of the priest was his mouth widening into an open maw filled with hundreds of teeth.
The judges were very impressed with Phoebe’s evident passion for writing and felt that this horror kept them on the edge of their seat wanting to read more. The twist at the end was really interesting and the use of dialogue and descriptions really brought this story to life. Well done Phoebe!
They are three very talented and worthy winners. The project team will be publishing the runner up stories over the coming months, which were also very impressive. They would encourage everyone to keep writing and to get involved in future events run by the Warsop Old Hall Project Team.
How many can you remember?