Bob Pegg words ~ music ~ place contact: catsback@gmail.com Folk Dotting the I's Storm Poster Woodlanders Abe's Folk Music Magazine: Bob Pegg Secret Doorways Last Wolf: John Hodkinson This page is about my entanglements with the written word, plus a bit about songs and a musical. I’m old enough to  have been born in the days when we were encouraged at school to learn chunks of verse by heart, and that’s where I  fell under the spell of popular poets like De la Mare, Masefield, and the greatest of all, Anon. Their work was a great  inspiration in 1970, when I began to write songs for the folk rock band Mr Fox.  My book Highland Folk Tales  was published in 2012 by The History Press.  When I went to Leeds in 1963, to study  English Literature, I became editor of the  University’s Ballad and Blues Society  magazine, Abe’s Folk Music. It was typed  on wax stencils, which had a limited life  before they disintegrated on the duplicator,  so we only managed to produce a couple of  hundred copies of each issue. But they  always went to Collett’s Record Shop, on  New Oxford Street in London, so the whole  folk scene became aware of, and was often  infuriated by, the opinionated contents. Mr Fox CD cover: Bob Pegg In 1966 I became a postgraduate in the  Institute of Dialect and Folk Life Studies at  Leeds. My subject was the folk music of the  Yorkshire Dales. For a couple of years I  travelled the Dales on foot and by public  transport, recording fiddlers, concertina  players, singers and brass bands. The results of this research fed into Folk, which was  published by Wildwood House in 1976. Five  years later a follow-up book about folk  customs, Rites and Riots, was published by  Blandford Press. I began to write songs in 1969, after  leaving Leeds University, when, for a  year, I was a teacher in Stevenage.  In 1970 Carole Pegg and I formed  the folk rock band Mr Fox, and for  two years and a couple of award-  winning records we toured Britain.  Our brief, tempestuous career is well  documented in Rob Young’s book  Electric Eden (Faber 2010). Many of  the songs I wrote for Mr Fox were  based on Dales’ life and legends. During the 1970s, while making albums and  touring as a singer-songwriter, I was also  getting involved in education, working in  collaboration with English Adviser Mike  Ezard on the schools’ book Pathways, and  performing in school halls throughout Britain  for up to 600 children. In 1983 I was  appointed Writer in Residence for the  County of Cleveland. I worked a lot in the  schools - Middlesborough in particular -  organised the first Cleveland Literature  Festival, and edited two writing anthologies. In 1989, after two decades of touring, I went  to live in Easter Ross, in the Highlands, in the village of Hilton. Sitting outside my workshop  one morning, playing the squeezebox, I met  Dolly MacDonald, the Seaboard wise woman,  who told me the story of a young man from  Balintore who came upon a “merrymaid”  sitting on a stone on Shandwick beach, and  stole her tail so that he could marry her. The  tale became the basis for the community  music-drama Storm, which The Highland  Council mounted in Cromarty in 1995,  shortlisted for the 2006 Highland Quest. The Last Wolf was released in  1996, a CD of songs for the  Rhiannon label. It was recorded in  various rented cottages in Easter  Ross, with splendid contributions  from Highland musicians and  singers. I was delighted to be able  to include The Calderdale Songs, a  commission for the 1979 Hebden  Bridge Festival, which had been  recorded in the early 80s, but  subsequently and mysteriously lost. In 2007 I was commissioned by Deveron  Arts to create a storywalk in Huntly. The  occasion was the centenary of the death of  of George MacDonald, the Huntly-born  fantasy writer, whose best known novel is  The Princess and the Goblins (it was  made into an animated film not so long ago).  The walk was published in this pocket-size  chapbook, which includes traditional stories,  riddles, and puzzles based on the  architecture of Huntly. It led to my devising a  riddling storywalk for the Highland Folk  Museum in Newtonmore. Back in 1992 I worked with Mary Walters  on Wildwood - a touring installation  inspired by the ancient, mythical forest of  Caledon - making the soundtracks for her  slide presentations. Since then I have  worked with community woodlands, and  collaborated with Forestry Commission  Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage to  help create awareness of native woods. It  was a great privilege to be asked by Ian  Edwards to contribute to Woodlanders  and to have included the lyrics to The  Last Wolf, and The Wildwood Song.