Tim Porteus

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Tim loves sharing the wonderful world of folklore, mythology and legend, but he has also developed an interest in collecting and telling modern urban tales, as well as personal family stories and reminiscences.

He is a very engaging character and tells stories with passion and humour, adaptable to all ages. As a father of five (four daughters, one son), Tim is fully aware of the importance and power of stories for children. He likes to engage his audience, especially children, and involve them in the story. He sometimes mixes his storytelling with other creative art forms such as music, murals, poetry and film making.

Tim is qualified in Community Education and uses storytelling with vulnerable and marginalised groups to enhance self-belief and confidence, assisting people to create their own cultural identities. He has extensive experience in engaging people with a history of homelessness, chaotic lifestyles and addictions. In this way, he uses storytelling to challenge cultural poverty and helps to give a voice to people who are normally excluded from positive cultural expression. In 2008, he was awarded the Nancy and Hamish Turner Storytelling Bursary for his work with young adults with addictions and related health issues in Methil and Leven.

Tim’s father was a minister and faith tales are his earliest memories of storytelling. However, his maternal grandmother’s tall tales of everyday life or magical creatures that inhabited the woods left a deep impression, and Tim owes his victory at the Edinburgh Tall Tales Oscars in 2010 to her creative imagination. He has a deep love of nature and uses stories to reconnect people to the wonders of our natural world, while enhancing our knowledge and appreciation of our threatened natural environment.

From an early age, Tim had a fascination with the past and wished that buildings and trees could speak and tell their secrets. He discovered as a teenager in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, that they do, if you know how to listen… Tim has an MA (Honours) in History, and he loves using tales from the oral tradition to make history more fun and interesting. He uses traditional folklore and local historical tales to connect people, and enhance a sense of place and identity.

In Scotland, Tim has told stories in schools, libraries, festivals, sheltered housing and at private functions and gigs for many years. He is an experienced tour guide and storytelling is a central part of this work. He has also been involved in storytelling abroad as part of cultural programmes at universities in the Czech Republic and Portugal, and at schools and cultural events in Spain, Germany, Sweden and Slovakia. He loves sharing and learning about the folklore traditions of other cultures and enjoys telling tales in his native Scots dialect when appropriate.

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