• Sharna Leanne

There is magic in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea…

Did you know of such a thing as a magic sausage roll? There are five imaginative stories of a purple monster and the girl and the boy and their wonderful adventures all hidden in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea waiting to be unlocked.

I am so grateful and proud to have been asked to work along side some incredible creatives to bring a story trail to Newbiggin – imagined by the children of the town themselves. 127 children have worked with Unfolding Theatre and Action for Children to help bring stories to life. Bishops Primary School and the playgroups ran by Action for Children’s Central Northumberland Children’s Centre have sparked their imagination with their innovative ideas resulting in five wonderful tales that have been placed around Newbiggin.

The children began this project after reading the book Not Now Bernard – by David McKee, a classic story that is celebrating an impressive 40 years in 2020 – the story sees Bernard not being heard by his busy busy parents after finding a monster in his garden! Listen to the book read by, the founder of Andersen Press, Klaus Flugge for Book Trust.

Or if you fancy a super cute reading my little one has read it every night since the launch – you can see that on my IGTV.

Take a map and open the world of the purple monster and his friends as you take a lovely stroll around a beautiful village unlock the stories, using the QR codes on the story sign in each location, and listen to the amazing adventures such as A Monster Party, The Mysterious Creature, Salty Sea Dogs and more!

It is so much fun, and heartwarming to see little ones eyes light up as they hear of the different parts of Newbiggin in the story making it a super special story trail for all.

Our favourite story is A Monster Party which was imagined by my very own little dude – at playgroup we met the guys at Unfolding Theatre and created monster puppets, monster houses and saw the toddlers and pre schoolers immersed in activities and coming up with super fun ideas!

I was so excited to see this launch at the perfect time, its something fun to do out in the fresh air for the children. I don’t know about anyone else but lockdown has really had us thinking about different ways to have fun with all the softplays, play parks and other places we’d usually plan to go closed. This is the perfect way to get out and about exploring and going on a monster story spotting adventure. We’ve been down a few times to spot the different stories. The last time we went down a few days ago on our scooters with a picnic and found the story of the Salty Sea Dogs on the Prom.

If you would like to go on your own monster adventure see the map pictures below or use this link & scroll to the bottom.

If you pop along, do let me know how you find it, theres a survey link at the end of each story which we would be so grateful if you completed! There is also a chance to win a copy of Not Now Bernard from this survey!

Sharing on socials? You can also use the hashtags #newbigginstorytrail #notnowbernard or tag me – I’m excited to see everyone explore my little hometown!

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