Taffy Thomas as a Guest Speaker

Fireside Tales for Christmas

The Legends of the North

Favourite Tales from the Tale Coat

Ghost Stories by Firelight

'Salty Tales' - stories with a pinch of salt
Taffy Thomas


From A & E to MBE

With over 30 years' experience entertaining audiences from carnivals, village halls and country house hotels to the Albert Hall, Taffy is completely at home in front of audiences regardless of their age, class or number. He has a well-honed public speaking performance that combines wit, pathos and interest, adaptable to any length between 20 minutes and 1 hour (he favours 45 minutes).
Starting with the immortal 'Everybody's got one story to tell and that's their own', he embarks on his personal odyssey telling concisely how as a 35-year-old fire-eater he suffered a massive stroke leading to his own re-invention as a storyteller (some speech therapy!).

In this personal story there are more laughs than tears... and it's true. He will follow this with an elaborate lie from Cumbria's famed Biggest Liar in the World competition, then he'll further honour his Lakeland home by presenting a local legend and probably can then tell a legend from the audience's own locality.

If time allows he'll then introduce his famous Tale Coat, a unique £4,000 piece of textile art, and allow the senior guest, i.e. Chairman, President, etc, to choose one last story by pointing to a picture on the coat.

Then a traditional toast to the company will bring the proceedings to a happy conclusion.

Note: You don't get a succession of locker room jokes suitable for a stag gathering but you do get 45 minutes of magic that can delight and entertain male, female or mixed audiences.

As US Grammy award winner David Holt commented "Few people in the artistic world reach so many individuals on such a deep level as does Taffy Thomas. Not only is he an English treasure he is a world treasure."
A 60 minute performance suitable for the young and the young-at-heart With the help of an ingenious set from Wolverhampton artist John Crane the audience board a virtual coach and head north singing most of the way with Les, the driver. From time to time the coach party pause at a place of interest to hear a local legend from tour guide/storyteller Taffy, and may sample some local fare, hopefully without causing travel sickness! So come along/sing along and discover Lakeland's hidden treasures. We promise to return you home safely!

At Christmas there is no finer entertainment than the storyteller by the fireside.

Taffy Thomas has a unique collection of mid-winter legends and tales that he performs annually between the last weekend in November and Twelfth Night. These include magical apocryphal nativity legends and of course ghost stories. The whole finishing with the Apple Tree Man, a tale in Taffy's native Somerset dialect as the audience join the storyteller in a toast and a shared drink from the traditional wassail cup. Taffy performs this programme either solo or in collaboration with a singer/musician in a linked programme of stories and Christmas songs and carols.

Suitable for hotels, community centres, schools, village halls, pubs, clubs or private parties.

Taffy Thomas the Storyteller undertook a year-long project seeking out legends throughout Cumbria, Northumbria and Durham and telling them in situ to the communities whose forbears had originated those tales.

As well as being a memorable year of communities arts activity, this project produced three lasting works.
Firstly a book (The Linking of the Chain: Legends of the North) which became the first publication of Tales in Trust, the Northern Centre for Storytelling.

Secondly a compact disc (Legends of the North) including other prominent Northern traditional artists.

Thirdly the canon of stories researched and fashioned into performance pieces for a contemporary audience became a show that can vary in length from one to two hours.

This show is suitable for schools, festivals, village halls and community centres. It can be performed by Taffy either as a one-man Storytelling show or in conjunction with local musicians, such as Carolyn Francis who is a specialist in Lakeland fiddle tunes. She also sings and plays the bagpipes as required.
FAVOURITE TALES FROM THE TALE COAT - a unique show for the young and the young at heart

When England's leading storyteller dons this unique piece of textile art, the magic begins. Will you be the one to choose a story from the coat? After Taffy's introduction, the audience shape the show.
ghosts GHOSTS

The perfect ending to your special day - late night ghost stories for all the family. For open air venues we can provide braziers so the stories can be by firelight.

SALTY TALES - stories with a pinch of salt

An ideal entertainment for Maritime Festivals, Regattas, Quaysides, Folk Festivals, Shanty Sessions and Maritime Museums.

Over a couple of years in the 1970's, storyteller TAFFY THOMAS worked his own fishing boat 'Sea Urchin' in Orfordness and then spent a season with veteran fisherman and traditional singer Tommy Morrissey in Cornwall.
Money changed hands in Padstow pubs with bets on how long the green Englishman would survive under the salt-hardened skipper of 50 years experience. The young storyteller learned to bite his tongue, learned a lot and loved it! When 'Sea Urchin' and 'Girl Maureen' were not at sea, Taffy was singing and telling stories. As one good story deserves another Taffy's repertoire widened to include navigational yarns such as "Cutting Hay on Stepper Point" and legends such as "The Devils Salt Mill" which explains why the sea is salty. "Davy and the Fish" is a beautifully crafted traditional tale that grips 8 to 80 year olds! "The Giant Grabbist" from Taffy's native Somerset describes the saving of the 'Dorcas Jane' in the mother of all storms.
'SALTY TALES' is a unique and flexible programme of stories, yarns, legends, song and music relating to the sea, performed by two of the most experienced and entertaining artistes working within the British folk traditions of words and music.
A whole evening of SALTY TALES would be a 2 hour show (including a 20 minute interval) but the programme can also be adapted to form part of a concert programme with other artistes at a festival.
Something very special

- two exceptional performers combine for an evening of stories and songs which will captivate, amuse and delight! Sandra Kerr is one of our most established folk musicians - the musical force behind Bagpuss, director of Werca's Folk and lecturer on the degree course in folk and traditional music at the University of Newcastle. Taffy Thomas is a national icon - the most acclaimed and celebrated storyteller in the country and increasingly recognised internationally. Together they promise an evening of stories and music - from the comic to the tragic - to captivate all ages.

Taffy Thomas performs a tribute to Johnny Morris.
Hot Chestnuts and Warm Words on a Cold Night.

Before finding greater fame with "Animal Magic", Johnny Morris was regularly seen on BBC Children’s TV in the 1950s as The Hot Chestnut Man, telling stories over a brazier. In 1989, at the Sidmouth International Folklore Festival, storyteller Taffy Thomas had the privilege of meeting the veteran broadcaster. When Johnny inquired as to what had awakened Taffy’s interest in the art of storytelling, Taffy revealed it had been boyhood Sundays at his grandfather’s, watching the Hot Chestnut Man. Johnny’s reaction was great surprise and pleasure. When Taffy remarked that The Hot Chestnut Man had been a great idea, and that it should be revived, Johnny turned to him and said, "You do it!" Sadly, Johnny is no longer with us, but Taffy has now commissioned a brazier from an expert blacksmith, and can perform his tribute to Johnny Morris at your winter event, complete with hot nuts!