Facing stiff competition from a handful of others to make their mark on Britain’s fairy tale history, hundreds of stalls are set up across the country this summer to celebrate the country’s history.
The Cambodian Hairy Tales Centre in London is among the sites to open this weekend with a number of stalls celebrating the stories that inspired them.
“This year we have the first-ever display of the original Chinese fairy tale costumes from the Tang dynasty and there will be more stalls and other displays across the year,” said Cindy Hoang, head of the centre.
Fairy tale decorators in the UK have long had to find creative ways to create their own version of the classic stories.
For decades, people have made their own hairy tale furniture from fabric scraps and old books.
But with a lot of local suppliers struggling to supply traditional wooden huts to local markets, this summer’s stalls have been inspired by the Babylonian happiness fairy tale, a classic by French author Jean Jacques Rousseau.
It’s not only the new stalls that will be offering new fairy tale stories.
There will also be a new hobby that has been in the works for a while: building horses.
Some people, like Mary Jo Boulton, who grew up in a farmhouse in Cumbria, will be buying fancy horses to decorate their house, while others, like former English teacher Katie Leach, will be using their own.
There’s a lot to love in this year’s show, with stalls selling all kinds of things from traditional horse furs to horse saddles to giant horse shoes.
“It’s an exciting time to be able to take part in something that has really gone back to the roots of our folklore,” Mary Jo said.
“I’m very excited that the centre will be opening for the first time in 2019.
I think it will bring back memories of my childhood.”
Mary Jo’s mother and stepfather also believed that the fairy tale courses had been in use since the 14th century.
“The hitchhiking travellers from the Tang and China were very much involved with fairy tale and they would travel to other countries for the fairytale stories to be told and there would be people who would bring their own costumes and props, like horses and horns,” Katie Leach said.
“So it’s a very exciting time.”
It’s fair to say that for some people, fairy tale decorating has become a big part of their lives, and they are eager to share the memories they have made in the past.
“I am excited to share my family’s history with the children and I would love them to go on to make this collection,” Liz Mackenzie, a tour guide who grewup in the north of England, said.
She and her mum, Kirsty Mills, have made up a new stall called the Fairy Tales Workshop, which will be open on Saturday to celebrate their heritage and tell the children’s stories.
“We’re very lucky to be making it happen because I grew up on a farm and my family have all passed away and we were really only able to share our history and what we have learned through the years with our children,” Kathy Macks said.
“It is a lovely holiday and I really want to do it for my children and grandchildren.”
There’s so many stories in the Cumbrian Hitchhiker and Cavalier Horse Books that have inspired me to keep going and make it a bit bigger for my own children and grandkids to enjoy.
“Liz Mackenzie, Kate Leache, Mary Jo and Kathryn Mays are the new Fairy Tales workshop takers.
They are planning to visit more stalls this summer.
If you have any questions about the fairy tales you have seen this year, you can contact The Fairy Tales Centre at [email protected]
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