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Just in time for Christmas is the arrival on the shelves of a brilliant story, told in words and pictures, by twelve Shetland bairns. The Curse of Weisdale Mill is a contemporary telling of the legends that surround the murky history of the Weisdale Mill, home to Bonhoga Gallery.

On a deathly dark night in November this year Shetland Arts ran a spooky story-telling and creative workshop, led by teacher Ria Moncrieff and visiting artist and writer Sally Kindberg. The twelve children who took part, ranging in age from seven to fourteen years old, were told the original history of the mill and documented accounts of the fates that befell some of the workers there. After discussion and spooky snacks (jelly ‘brains’ and chocolate fingers) the budding artists and writers began the retelling of the story using their own vivid imaginations to bring the story alive.

Ghost, by Seamus Malcolmson

Ria then took each piece of writing and tied it all together with additional facts from the historical accounts she researched in the Shetland Museum and Archives. Shetland Arts then combined these words and the pictures from the night and have turned it into a spectacular little storybook, for anyone with an interest in the dark side…

Jane Matthews of Shetland Arts said, ‘it’s a brilliant book and a perfect last minute gift for Christmas. I am so proud of the talent and effort that each of the twelve children put into the retelling of the story and their illustrations are quite phenomenal.’

The book will be available at Bonhoga Gallery from next Tuesday, while each of the bairns involved will receive a complimentary copy in the post. Angela Smith, Duty Manager at Bonhoga, announced that the flurry of literary excitement will coincide with a pre-Christmas sale in the shop, a perfect chance to pick up last minute gifts and decorations before the gallery, shop and café close for the festive break on Sunday 23rd December.

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