Examples of the finished, printed, Gang Warily Story Quest Trail




18th July 2023


Story Quest Launch




Another part of the Waterside Arts Festival was the launch of a brand new Story Quest trail.


New Forest District Council were looking to get more people to engage in the outdoor spaces on their doorstep, so, with partners, Culture in Common and the National Literacy Trust, I was asked to come up with a story about Newlands Field – or as it’s better known, Gang Warily.


Part of the engagement meant going to talk to the children who lived in the area, and so Blackfield Primary and Cadland Primary gave me the time to come and talk about potential story scenarios and get a feel for what the children knew about the area. The school visits were all very revealing – and entertaining – and meant that in the end I had a strong idea of where to take the story.


Lois Bateman of the National Literacy Trust had been involved with many such trails in the past, and so she walked Gang Warily with me and listened to my thoughts and made helpful suggestions. With all that done, I had just a couple of weeks to write, illustrate, design and layout the booklet in time for the Waterside Arts Festival.


On the launch day Blackfield Primary joined us in the morning and Cadland in the afternoon for a guided walk followed by a drawing workshop. Thankfully, the weather was kind (although it was blowy) and I’m pleased to say that it all went down incredibly well. The kids were great fun, engrossed, and interested, and all admitting to learning a few things. Mission accomplished!


You can pick up a copy of The Lake Monster of Gang Warily from Gang Warily Recreation Centre and Hythe Library (there’s one more pick-up point – possibly Tesco – but I’m not certain). And the best part? It’s FREE!


Simon Chadwick guides children round Gang Warily on the trail

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