The King of the Cats

“The King of the Cats: Lancashire stories explored and reinvented by four visual artists and one storyteller”


Film: “Gathered Tales of Lancashire”:


“The King of the Cats” is a touring exhibition of contemporary art rooted in the Lancashire landscape and funded by the Arts Council of England (2014 – 2016)

I worked alongside sculptor Marjan Wouda, painter Chris Rainham, ceramicist Julie Miles and installation artist Patricia Ramsden on this fabulous project. We began with old Lancashire folktales that began to transform as soon as they met the 21st century.  For my part I made a film and wrote the book of stories that is available alongside the exhibition.

I set off on a mission to talk to people and discover the stories that are being told now of strange or odd happenings in Lancashire. Before long I was following leads across the county, having unexpected conversations on station platforms and chance meetings in cafes and libraries. These led to tales of haunted taxis and ghostly bikers. What struck me was the resonances they had with some of the old stories. I devised and wrote a script that twisted them together. The next step was to get together with Graham Kay of Fully Formed Films to create the short film, “Gathered Tales of Lancashire”. While telling the stories, the film visually highlights the modern landscape of Lancashire and the tellers themselves.

For a longer explanation of how the film came to be made, here’s an interview with Fiona Pattison:  pdf Creating Gathered Tales of Lancashire


 “The King of the Cats and Other Lancashire Stories” – The Book


Click on the headings below to read excerpts and sample stories:

Forewords by Kevin Crossley-Holland and Eileen Cooper

The King Of The Cats

Peg O’ The well

The Jug And The Sixpence


The book of all fifteen stories can be found at the galleries participating in the tour (see below for tour dates), local bookshops and directly by emailing me at

Some of the gorgeous artworks by the other artists:

“The Boy with the Malady” – A painting by Christopher Rainham


“The Dobbie’s Hare” – a sculpture by Marjan Wouda








"The White Doe" - a painting by Christopher Rainham
“The White Doe” – a painting by Christopher Rainham

Some Comments on the Exhibition so far:

“A great exhibition. Love it. It’s fun and informative” – Angie, Salford

“Nice one! We liked the video the most.” – Ted (2.5 yrs) and Ben Haworth (37.5 yrs)

“Loved the exhibition. Best thing I’ve seen in ages.” – Sue Rowlands”

“A very imaginative and captivating exhibition.” – Amber Redman