Going on Taw

Going on Taw


Going on Taw (GoT) is a storytelling / poetry project travelling the length of the River Taw from Source to Sea. The project will gather stories from those who use/depend on the River and seven community groups geographically linked to it.

The stories will be used to create a live professional performance, 7 podcasts, a short film and a 7-week exhibition at Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon in Summer 2024.

Phase one – Community engagement (April – July 2023)

Three schools, Chulmleigh Primary, Umberleigh Primary & Bishops Tawton Primary have been invited to take part in the project. Workshops will take place both at the Taw and in school. Westcountry River Trust will co- deliver the initial workshops.

The pupils will take part in Citizen Science activities, learn about the ecology of the river and the threats it faces. These finding will be used to inspire creative writing working with Storyteller/ Poet Katy Lee.

Community groups, Sunrise Diversity English language students, Barnstaple Memory Cafe, Georgie’s Youth Centre and Wednesday Wanderers will also work with Katy.

The community’s poems /creative writing will be spoken to the river via a tube, recorded underwater and used to create specially composed music by composer, David Smale. The poems will also be written on the ‘skin’ of the canoe making the Taw journey.

Phase Two – The building of the canoe

Phase Three – The Journey (September 2023 – February 2024)

Katy will travel the length of the Taw actually in the water rather than along the river banks! Depending on conditions, Katy will swim or canoe down the river having secured the permission from the relevant landowners. The journey will be captured in a short film.

During this time the seven podcasts will also be made.

Phase Four – performance and exhibition (March – July 2024)

The seven podcasts will be released one a week from 30th March 2024

Exhibition at Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon 18th May – 6th July 2024

Performances June 1st, 15th and during Fringe Theatrefest, Barnstaple (dates tbc)

Meet the Creative Team

left to right
David Smale – Composer & musician.
Katy Lee – Lead Artist, Storyteller/ poevt
Jessica Pearson – Filmmaker
Vince Large – Photographer

Going on Taw is funded and supported by: