Got a tale about a York pub? I want to hear about it…

Bar talk… story-gatherer Adrian Spendlow
5 Feb 2013 @ 3.00 pm
| News
Bar talk… story-gatherer Adrian Spendlow
Bar talk… story-gatherer Adrian Spendlow

adrian-spendlow-bylineYork’s pubs are at the heart of community life. Now writer Adrian Spendlow wants to capture your stories and memories of our great city boozers. He’ll meet you at the bar…


As soon as I heard about the idea of Ales & Tales I was excited about it. I had long been interested in the York Stories 2012 project so was thrilled when Dave Fleming, the inclusive arts officer for City of York Council’s arts & events team, asked me to help keep the project flowing through 2013.

I love browsing the York Stories 2012 site and passing on links to the tales found there to friends. Word soon spreads as people print off stories they like and others are inspired to post their own memories, tales and anecdotes.

And so it is with the newest aspect of the project, Ales & Tales. The idea is to capture stories and memories of our wonderful historic pubs. Already the response from people has been tremendous – everyone wants to tell me a tale. Well, where better to go story-gathering than those vital parts of the community, York’s local pubs?

This will be a great way to carry the project forward as a lasting record of the York 800 celebrations.

Of course one of the tales that is being passed around York at the moment is about “Adrian Spendlow landing a job sitting about in pubs listening to people”! And yes, it is a dream job, getting to spend time in these essential hubs of our community with fascinating people at their most relaxed.

ales-tales-beermatEverywhere I go people are asking me about Ales & Tales. There’s been such a response that I am starting to think the main part of the role will be getting all their fascinating stories up there on the site.

Each session will be so different too. My performances of gathered tales will kick-start things, and where people have come prepared and are ready to jump up and share we will have impromptu performances.

In other sessions the whole room will become one big conversation. I may well do a short summing-up spot at the end of each visit to share some of the gathered tales, and then we will all be looking forward to seeing the results online.

Some will choose to write or record their tales themselves – see to find out how – while others will be happy to see me write up their contributions as part of a flowing narrative of the day, to be uploaded to the site later.

So whether you want to stand and perform, sit and chat, leaf through my inspiring prompt cards, or just sit and sip, I look forward to meeting you all.


Adrian will be hosting sessions in these venues