Celebrating the Chilterns in literature - a new collection of ten tales

Celebrating the Chilterns in literature – a new collection of ten tales

The Chilterns will soon have its own collection of stories celebrating the diverse cultural and natural heritage of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Chilterns Stories will bring together established classics, Fantastic Mr Fox, by Roald Dahl and Metroland by Julian Barnes, with eight newly published original stories. The stories will take the form of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and even a play.

The collection is being curated by the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs Landscape Partnership, with funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund.

New stories soon to be launched

The commissioned stories include The Ballad of Bodgers Wood by award winning children’s writer Rachel Rooney. Rachel will launch this story with a day of celebratory activities for children at the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden on 27th November.

In December, the publication and online launch of In Their Own Words edited by historians, Helena Chance and Lesley Hoskins, will be accompanied by a series of nine online videos exploring and explaining the oral history archives of Wycombe Museum. Find out more about these events below.

Other stories currently under development for Chilterns Stories include:

  • The Grims Ditch Mysteries, by archaeologist Dr. Wendy Morrison from the Chilterns Conservation Board, will introduce readers to the importance of Buckinghamshire’s largest scheduled monument.
  • Sour Cherry Soup, by Sara Clifford, a new play telling interwoven stories of the Chilterns’ communities of people and their cherry orchards will be performed at Wycombe Museum and various other Chilterns community venues in summer as a woman show and the play will be published.
  • Red will provide a bird’s eye view of the successful reintroduction of Red Kites to the area.
  • Riverbank Tales will explain the repopulation of rare fauna in our precious chalk streams.
  • Sit Down Here will the trace the story of the Chilterns beechwoods, furniture industry and chair designs.
  • Something About This Place will gather a collection of the winning entries from our local school short essay writing competition.

Pre order your copies early

The full collection of stories will be presented by the Chalk, Cherries and Chairs scheme to school, community and public libraries across the area, as well as to independent book clubs, museum collections and our own local community organisation partners in village halls, local history groups and conservation societies. To submit your interest in your group receiving the books, please email ccc@chilternsaonb.org

Lachlan Stuart, Project Manager of Chalk, Cherries and Chairs, said:

“Building on the success of our Chilterns Landscapes art exhibition earlier in the year, Chilterns Stories is an exciting development which will showcase The Chilterns through the lens of literature, exploring people’s sense of place, home, history and heritage. There are stories for all ages and we are excited that the book collection will form part of Chalk, Cherries and Chairs’ legacy for future generations.”

Upcoming Chilterns Stories Events

Here are all the currently planned Chilterns Stories events. Events are still being planned! To keep abreast of the latest events and dates being added, keep tabs on the Chalks Cherries and Chairs events page.

Julian Barnes in Conversation at Amersham Museum - 13th November

Booker prize winning author Julian Barnes will appear in conversation at Amersham Museum to discuss the sense of place, change and memories in his work, including his debut novel, Metroland Sunday 13 th November, 4- 5.30pm, free

Due to popular demand, the in person event has sold out , so we have added a live stream option, for you to watch live from your home – please book your ticket to receive the live stream link and details closer to the event date.

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The Ballad of Bodger's event children's book launch - 27th November

Award winning children’s poet Rachel Rooney will lead a day of celebratory activities for children at the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, to launch her new story The Ballad of Bodgers Wood – Sunday 27th November, 2pm, £3 per person


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December and January

  • Historians Helena Chance and Lesley Hoskins will be accompanied by a series of nine online videos exploring and explaining the oral history archives of Wycombe Museum.
  • Sour Cherry Soup, a new play telling interwoven stories of the Chilterns’ communities of people and their cherry orchards will be published by Sara Clifford, for theatre workshops in the New Year and performances in early summer. Creative writing workshops taking place in January and February, free.

Get involved in the drama workshops

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We have carefully chosen our most immersive and memorable Chilterns Countryside Experiences to share with you here. Choose from Active Countryside, Chilterns Food & Drink, Countryside Learning and Chilterns Sightseeing. All are bookable online.
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Upcoming events

Find out what's on in the Chilterns - walking or biking, food & drinks, serious trekking or a picnic on the flat - the possibilities are endless.