The seeds of inspiration for Goose and the Gingerbread Moons were planted during my Ormskirk Illustrated residency at the Chapel Gallery in 2013, when local residents shared intriguing stories and curious memories about Ormskirk’s colourful past. Fact met fiction during a workshop I ran at a local school earlier this year, about the Gingerbread Ladies of Ormskirk and all this got mashed up with my recent obsession with the winter migration of the Pink footed Geese around these parts.
My story draws on children’s imaginations and impulsive nature. Unfortunately, Goose (he’s a boy..) has the misfortune of existing within a traditional fairy tale where the consequences of childhood misdemeanours are a little harsh. ( I’m a big fan of Grimm)
Though I’ve made references to local landmarks, and snippets of social history that I’ve picked up and embellished to inspire children in workshops, my story is a work of fiction; any similarities to real people or places are a flight of fancy and a simple act of mischief, which is allowed when making up stories.
By the way, Ormskirk Gingerbread does actually exist. Only one shop in town sells it (Scott’s Butchers on Church Street) and the recipe is a secret. It’s a jolly tasty dipping biscuit!
Goose and the Gingerbread Moons
At a twice-weekly market, merchants sold goods of all kinds, lining the streets with fine silks, majestic shoes, elegant gloves, intricate baskets, and bejewelled clocks. Farmers and travellers paraded a menagerie of cows, sheep, chickens, peacocks and even dancing bears!
People would come from far and wide to sample the local ales and feast on the most magnificent confectionery laced with exotic spices from far off lands: nutmeg, cinnamon… ginger.
It was a time, dear reader, in this fairy tale land, when children were seen but not heard, and were put to work and forbidden from play.
A time when sugar was more valuable than gold, yet a time when the small town was famous across the kingdom for its mouth-watering gingerbread – a confection forbidden to all children. A time when a child could drink a quart of ale but could not eat even a morsel of gingerbread!