The Bard of Stony Stratford
The Bard of Stony Stratford is a civic position and serves as an advocate of Bardic arts in all it forms in Stony Stratford and beyond.
The role of a town Bard is to produce and perform original pieces in the oral tradition to celebrate the customs and achievements of the town and its people, to attend various local events and occasions throughout the year as an honoured guest, and to preside over the annual festivals and events for StonyLive, Stony Words, Arts & Music Festivals and the Christmas Lights Switch On celebrations.
Every year, a new Bard is elected by common consent in a public vote called the Bardic Trials which take place in January. This is an open contest before a live audience and a panel of expert judges. Anyone who has a voice and the power to use it can compete against their peers for this prestigious position. The choice of the people is the voice of the people. Each Bard will hold their position for one year and a day, their final duty being to oversee the inauguration of their successor.
The Bardic Council
The Bardic Council of Stony Stratford was set up to support the Bard and to organise the events, trials, and publicity. The Bardic Council also record all of each Bard's achievements in the Bardic Book.
Terrie Howey - Chair
Terrie Howey is a professional storyteller, performing arts practitioner and workshop facilitator. Commonly performing as storyteller Red Phoenix, and running Red Phoenix Storytelling & Productions. She has performed, coached and mentored new and young performers internationally, and is dedicated to supporting the arts and making them accessible for all..
Vanessa Horton - Secretary
Vanessa Horton was the 6th Bard of Stony Stratford, she used her role within the council to focus on promoting the role of Bard within Stony Stratford and further afield, as well as working with young people to inspire the next generation of Bards.
Stephen Hobbs - Treasurer
Stephen was raised on free school milk, Penguin Classics, and lots of fresh air before becoming a meandering librarian in the cosmopolitan towns of Liverpool, Birkenhead, Bebington, Milton Keynes, and Bletchley. Stephen is now retired and has even more time to read books! As a double grandfather, Stephen intends to make something of his life, perhaps becoming a little more sensible in the process. He believes that writing poetry is a serious and profound business (he really does); however, his verse refuses to take the hint and insists on a high humour content.
Role of the council:
Richard Frost - Founder
Richard is the founder of the Bard of Stony Stratford, The Bardic Council and Scribal Gathering, Milton Keynes' longest and most successful running open-mic night running every 2nd Tuesday of the month. His hard work and dedication in the creation of the Bard of Stony Stratford has lead to it being recognised locally and regionally, and has made it a now much welcomed part of Stony traditions. The Bardic Council are grateful to Richard, we would like to recognise his contribution, and thank him for the inspiration he has instilled throughout the community.