Pupils launch Smuggling Tales book

The pupils with Frances Wilkins

The pupils with Frances Wilkins

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The children of Ballantrae Primary School in South Ayrshire have just published a book of their own Smuggling Tales as part of this year’s Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival.

The 80 page book contains 86 stories and poems written and illustrated by the children. The youngsters, from P1-P7, wrote their stories and poems and drew their pictures during school time, as part of the curriculum.

Alisha Shevels, Ryan Hughes and Freya Middleton with Frances Wilkins (centre) hold copies of the book

Alisha Shevels, Ryan Hughes and Freya Middleton with Frances Wilkins (centre) hold copies of the book

The book is based on the rich smuggling stories associated with Ballantrae during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with additions and modifications from the imaginations of these twenty-first century children.

The book was launched at Ballantrae Primary School on Friday 24 June by local author Dr Tom Smith who shared with the children some of his own experiences as a writer. He praised the children for their very varied approaches to the stories and poems, and for their vivid imagination. He encouraged them to continue to develop their writing skills as they go through life and suggested ways of doing that.

Frances Wilkins of Toby Press who published the book said: “Each year, the organisers of the Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival work closely with the children to keep Ballantrae’s smuggling history alive through stories, poetry, songs, making smuggler scarecrows and re-enactments. Encouraged to recall what they had heard over the years, and applying their own vivid imaginations to recreate in word and illustrations, this book celebrates an exercise in creativity rather than history.”

“If you want to immerse yourself in the creative imagination of children who have been given free rein to produce their own smuggling stories then this book is for you!”

Copies of the book (ISBN 978-1-898266-10-5) are available, price £7.50, from Toby Press, 8 Mill Close, Blakedown, Kidderminster, Worcs DY10 3NQ email: tobypress@franscript.co.uk.