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Pied Piper of Oxford lures children into Story Museum, June 27 2013. Will they ever be seen again? 10 June 2013

Monday 10th June

On Thursday June 27 – 729 years almost to the day when the notorious rat catcher of Hamelin supposedly charmed the city’s children away – story catcher Michael Rosen (in costume) will mark this legendary event by leading a procession of around 65 young schoolchildren – disguised as rats – through the historic streets of Oxford and into The Story Museum.

As the huge wooden doors clang shut behind them, the children will disappear into the ‘mountain’, to create and perform poems and songs inspired by the famous story

Poet and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen and local storyteller-musician Jackie Singer will explore the Pied Piper and other famous German folk tales with the children, aged 6 to 11, from Sunningwell Primary School. Parents may or may not be pleased to know that their offspring will be allowed to leave later in the day, provided they pay the Piper his gold.

This is a special event at The Story Museum to mark its annual Maggie’s Day, set up in memory of Maggie Evans, a young literary agent with a passion for children’s literature.

Photo opportunity

Photographers may catch the children as they follow Michael, Oxford’s own Pied Piper, down Pembroke Street (which bears an uncanny resemblance to the ancient streets of Hamelin) and through the Story Museum’s wooden gates. Time: 9.45-10.00am

The children will emerge from the ‘mountain’, aka The Story Museum’s atmospheric and historic home, at approximately 1.45pm.

The Story Museum, Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX2 7BB www.storymuseum.org.uk

For more information, interviews: contact Cath Nightingale or Alex Coke, 01865 790050 cath@storymuseum.org.uk;  alex@storymuseum.org.uk

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EDITORS’ NOTES

The Story Museum

The Story Museum is a charity and non-profit company that works to celebrate and demonstrate the power of stories to inspire learning, especially for the young. It takes story performances, exhibitions, activities and ideas to schools and communities. The Story Museum plans to open a magical new world centre of children’s literature and storytelling in the heart of Oxford. The Museum’s patrons are Philip Pullman, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Rosen and Jacqueline Wilson. Its Trustees include publisher David Fickling and children’s playwright David Wood OBE.

Maggie’s Day

A special literary day for children has been set up with the Story Museum to celebrate the life of Maggie Evans, a young literary agent with a passion for children’s literature, who died in November 2008.  Each year, a writer-in-residence at The Story Museum will help to engage young people in projects designed to inspire a continuing love and appreciation of books and stories. 2013 marks the third Maggie’s Day and is supported by a fund created by her friends and family.

The story of the Pied Piper

According to legend, the Pied Piper of Hamelin was hired by the town’s mayor to rid the town of a plague of rats. The piper lured the rodents away with his magic pipe, but was denied the payment promised him. In revenge, the piper, dressed in multi-coloured clothing, used his magic powers to lead all of the children out of town and into a mountain, never to be seen again. Some sources claim that the event took place on 26 June 1284…

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