John's tale of Watley's End is a must-read
AN author from Winterbourne who has written a short story about Watley’s End says the response to it has been huge.
John Parsons, who is best known for his children’s books, had almost 60 printed copies collected from his home and emailed 200 to people living locally as well as in South Africa, Australia and America, within days of asking members of local Facebook groups if they anyone would be interested in reading it.
John said: “I am amazed at the response, but very pleased also. All the comments have been good, and some thought it might be true. Sorry to disappoint, but it is just a story I made up.”
John writes short stories for relaxation in between writing his novels for children. The idea for the story of how village of Watley's End, which has now become part of Winterbourne, got its name came to him one day when he was out walking with his wife Jennifer. He wrote it for fun in just six hours.
John mentioned the story on his Facebook page and two people asked to read it.
He said: “They reported back to me that it was very good. So I offered Winterbourne a chance to read it free. Then Frampton wanted it, and it spread. It was very pleasing for me but also very exhausting. I sat up until 1 o'clock one night mailing copies.”
The story is called Folklore and Legends, The Story of Watley’s End. It includes an early map of Winterbourne which John has drawn himself, where Watley’s End is called ‘Yonder’.
It tells the tale of the Baron of Yonder, whose name is Watley, and what happens to him when he crosses a woman who lives in the village who is curing people using herbal medicines and has her denounced as a witch.
The story will now go into a book with five other tales which John is currently working on, all based in the local area.
He says his stories and drawings, which are available to download and colour in, have given him "the joy of interaction" during the pandemic.
Before the coronavirus outbreak John was a regular visitor at schools, where he talked about his young adventurer Scott, the main character in his series of books including Ten Quests and Ten Kingdoms. He is currently finishing the next book, Ten Discs.