Walsall’s Bayard’s Colts

The Life and Times of the Tat Man short story competition

Walsall Museum is offering the chance to win tickets to the very first performance of The Life and Times of the Tat Man, a powerful and stirring new play by acclaimed local playwright David Calcutt at Walsall Museum on Saturday 12 April 2014.  The play is inspired by Walsall’s historic Bayard’s Colts.

How to enter

Horses feature strongly in the story of the Tat Man, a one man show performed by actor Tony Barrett, and so our competition is about horses too.

To enter all you need to do is send us your short story on the theme of ‘horses’.  All stories must be 500 words or less and must be typed.  Stories can be entered into the competition by emailing them to museum@walsall.gov.uk, posting them to Walsall Museum, Lichfield Street, Walsall, WS1 1TR or dropping them off at the Museum in person. Please ensure you include your name and a contact phone number or email address.

The competition is open from Friday 28 February 2014 and the deadline for entries is 12 noon on Friday 28 March 2014.  The winners will be announced on Friday 4 April 2014.

The competition will be judged by playwright David Calcutt and Head of Libraries, Arts and Heritage at Walsall Council, Sue Grainger.

 The prizes

The first prize is one pair of tickets to the first performance of The Life and Times of the Tat Man Tales on Saturday 12 April 2014 and one free riding lesson at Lodge Farm Equestrian in Aldridge.

The second prize is one pair of tickets to the first performance of The Life and Times of the Tat Man Tales on Saturday 12 April 2014.

There are two prizes, which are as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.

The two prize-winning entries, along with other entries selected on merit by the judges, will be displayed within the performance area at Walsall Museum from April to June 2014 for audiences to read before and after performances.

Entrants must be 13 years or older to enter. Entries by under 18s will need parental consent to be shown, either by signed covering letter from a parent or guardian or by email from a parent or guardian.

Entry is open to residents of Great Britain only.

For full terms and conditions please visit http://cms.walsall.gov.uk/index/libraries_museums_and_arts/museums/walsall_museum/tat_man_short_story_competition.htm.

Two new films about Tat Man Tales

We’ve giving you a special taster for the Tat Man Tales performances and storytelling activities next year with two short films.

The first is short film about the forthcoming one-man play, Tat Man Tales: Stories from the Scrapyard which has been specially commissioned by Walsall Museum from playwright David Calcutt. The play will be performed at Walsall Museum in Spring and Summer 2014. Come and see it! The film can be viewed at Tat Man Tales

The second is a short film with Anna Conomos, the storyteller we’re working with for Walsall Museum’s Tat Man Tales project, giving you a very special preview of the storytelling activities she’ll be doing next year with families, adults and schools. You’ll not only be watching Anna perform but taking part yourself in order to develop and perform your own stories.  The film can be viewed at Tat Man Tales – Anna Conomos

Enjoy watching!

The Bayard’s Colts at Christmas

On Saturday 14 December Walsall Museum is hosting a Christmas open day for its historic Bayard’s Colts.  Families will be able to come along to take part in Christmas activities inspired by the Colts and both adults and children will be able to enjoy the opportunity to find out more about these unique historic artefacts from a member of Museum staff.  The event is suitable for families and adults and takes place from 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm.  Its completely free of charge and there’s no need to book, just drop-in between the hours given.  Parents or carers must remain with children.

For further information please contact Walsall Museum on 01922 653116 or email museum@walsall.gov.uk.  The Museum looks forward to welcoming you and your family this December.

Bayards Colts to take starring role in Tat Man Tales

Walsall Museum is using a £12,000 grant from the Arts Council to help share the story behind the borough’s historic Bayard’s Colts.  A new play is being commissioned from playwright David Calcutt and there will be family storytelling events and an adult storytelling course.

The activities take place between April and June 2014 but tickets for all activities will be on sale from Tuesday 5 November, as they are expected to prove very popular.

Tat Man Tales: Stories from the Scrapyard

From his home in the scrapyard, the Tat Man brings you some of the stories he’s collected over the years, rag and tat tales, that want to get out into the world and kick up a bit of a rumpus. Join him and be prepared for anything. They’ll make your hair curl!

Actor and musician Tony Barrett plays the Tat Man in this new one-man show especially commissioned from David Calcutt and inspired by Walsall’s famous Bayard’s Colts.  Tony has previously appeared as the Tat Man in the cycle of highly popular mummers’ plays staged within Walsall town centre.

Dates for the performances of the play at Walsall Museum are Saturday 12 April, Saturday 26 April, Saturday 3 May, Saturday 17 May, Saturday 31 May and Saturday 7 June 2014.  Performances will take place at Walsall Museum and start at 2pm.

Tickets are £4 per person, no concessions, and are available from Walsall Museum, please call 01922 653116, email museum@walsall.gov.uk or pop in in person.

Family Storytelling Days

Join award-winning storyteller Anna Conomos for a fun-filled family event at Walsall Museum. Meet evil kings, brave heroes and warrior horses in an interactive performance, inspired by the mysterious Bayard’s Colts.  You will be dressing up and acting as you take on a character of your own.

All the family can participate.

The storytelling days will be taking place at Walsall Museum on Saturday 10 May and Saturday 24 May from 2-4pm.

Tickets are £1.25 per person for an adult or a child and must be purchased in advance.  Tickets are available from Walsall Museum, please call 01922 653116, email museum@walsall.gov.uk or pop in in person.

Adult Storytelling Course

Find your unique storytelling voice on our storytelling course with international performer Anna Conomos inspired by the unique Bayard’s Colts. Anna has been leading storytelling courses worldwide for over a decade and specialises in providing easy and fun tools and exercises that will build your confidence in public speaking and performance.  You will learn how to deliver a storytelling performance that will hold your audience captive.

The storytelling course is for adults and runs for six weeks from Tuesday 6 May to Tuesday 17 June 2014 with a break for half term, from 2-4pm.

Tickets are £10 per person for the full course and must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available from Walsall Museum, please call 01922 653116, email museum@walsall.gov.uk or pop in in person.

Storytelling for Primary Schools

There will also be four storytelling sessions in June 2014 for local primary schools to take part in an interactive performance with Anna at the Museum.  Contact Walsall Museum on 01922 653116 or email museum@walsall.gov.uk to find out more and book your place.

Bayard’s Colts Open Day – The Big Draw

Come along to Walsall Museum on Tuesday 29 October for a special event inspired by the Museum’s historic Bayard’s Colts.  Join us to sketch the Colts, create your own designs inspired by the Colts or simply to find out more about these unique historic artefacts. Additional activities for children will also be available and Museum staff will be on hand to provide further information about these unique and curious artefacts.

The event is taking place between 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm.  There’s no need to book, just drop in during the hours given.

The event is free of charge and is suitable for all the family.

For further information contact us on 01922 653116 or email museum@walsall.gov.uk

Walsall Museum is located in the Central Library & Museum building on Lichfield Street in the centre of Walsall, WS1 1TR.  The open day will be taking place on the third floor of the building.

Colt’s Legacy Ensured with Grant for Tat Man Tales

Now that the Bayard’s Colts Heritage Lottery funded project has come to an end it’s great news to hear that the story goes on. Walsall Museum have been awarded an Arts Council England grant of £12,000  to keep the Colts’ history alive. Included in the planned activities is a new play called Tat Man Tales in which our very own Tony Barrett will perform a one-man show based on a play written by local playwright David Calcutt. The plays will be performed next April to June, call 01922 653116 to book seats.

Bayard’s Colts Open Day at Walsall Museum

Friday 23 August
10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm

Come along to view our historic and unique Bayard’s Colts and learn more about their mysterious history from a member of Museum staff.  Children can take part in activities to become an Honorary Guardian of the Colts.

Free of charge, no need to book, suitable for all ages.

For further information contact Walsall Museum on 01922 653116 or email museum@walsall.gov.uk.

Bayard’s Colts Open Day at Walsall Museum

On Friday 23 August there is an exciting opportunity to view Walsall Museum’s unique and historic Bayard’s Colts and learn more about their history.

The open day takes place between 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30am-3.30pm.   It is suitable for all ages and activities for children will be provided.  The event is free of charge and there is no need to book.

The open day is part of the national Hidden Treasures initiative run by UK museums charity Collections Trust, which celebrates collections in UK museums and archives. 

The Bayard’s Colts are a collection of wooden poles topped with unique carved heads and historic weaponry.  There are seventeen poles altogether and they date back to at least the 17th century but may be much older. 

The event will be taking place in the Flint Gallery on the third floor of the Central Library & Museum building on Lichfield Street.  For further information please contact Walsall Museum on 01922 653116 or email museum@walsall.gov.uk. If you can’t make it to this open day another one will be taking place in the October half-term, please look out for further information nearer the time.

The Landlady and the Dragon Completes the Bayard’s Colts Theatre Performances

Playing to a capacity crowd at the Walsall Campus theatre of the University of Wolverhampton on Saturday the Bayard’s Colts troupe performed the Landlady and the Dragon and brought the series of four Mummer’s plays to a highly successful conclusion. As well as entertaining the packed theatre the event was streamed live around the world and a video of the performance will shortly be available for viewing on this site.

The event concluded a busy fortnight during which the play was performed outdoors in Walsall marketplace and indoors at the Bookmark Bloxwich theatre. This brings to a close a series of performances featuring local residents who have volunteered their time to rehearse and perform what had proved to be a wonderful series of Mummer’s plays written by local playwright David Calcutt.