Storyteller Angie Townsend recently passed away after brave and courageous fight with cancer. Her funeral takes place at St Michael’s Church in Inveresk today, followed by a celebration of her life which - as Angie wished - will see her old band 'Seeing Red' perform in Musselburgh.
Angie loved to tell stories to children, but was also just as at home storytelling to adults, especially in ceilidh-like settings and story walks. Although a dancer, it was music which enticed her to Edinburgh, from the little village of Ceres, Fife, where she wrote, recorded and performed her own CD, gigging with her band throughout the UK in the late 80s and 90s. Through church life and her daughters, her love of writing wee plays, working with and storytelling to children grew and grew until a storyteller suggested, "you should be doing this for a living."
Angie leaves behind a lasting legacy as well as an album of songs called 'Butterfly' as a parting gift for her family and friends. She said:
“Butterfly is a collection of songs written to celebrate life, love and things I’ve wanted to say, and I hope there will be at least one song in there that either touches your heart or inspires you. For my family and friends, this album is a thank you for the love and support you’ve given; a little way of saying you’re special and always will be.”
We ate scones, crammed with fruit
You sipped tea from a china cup
green tea, of course
You planned to delight the world with stories ...
Of Elsie you talked of courage
'her story should be told'
Yet, in telling we saw you
your true colours
out front, lights up
veins full of chemo
hair barely grown
Never had we seen one so
You delivered alright
left us marvelling
as though witnessing a comets trail
a blazing red headed comet
love and inspiration in your wake,
touching each and every one of us
as you passed through
Angie, Storyteller, song writer, singer, radio presenter, teacher, brilliant mother and wonderful friend. Missed and loved beyond words but carried forever in our stories xx
- Lea Taylor
Angie & I were both wearing pillowcases on our heads when we first met, that was our version of medieval royalty! From that a friendship was born. I was struck by her warmth & compassion and this was apparent in everything she did. We had several storytelling adventures, enjoying ourselves thoroughly each time.
Her powerful telling of Elsie Inglis' story was simply one of the best things I've seen.
Angie was, without doubt, a shining light and while she will be much missed her memories, spirit, stories & songs live on with us.
- Lindsey Gibb
Angie was an amazing person who was a real inspiration to me. I will miss her and am so sad that I will be unable to get to her funeral due to being on the other side of the world. She was a fantastic and gifted storyteller who was happy to share stories and was brimming full of enthusiasm. As a committed Christian who trusted God with her life, she was a also a great inspiration to me - trusting God right her fight with cancer. We had many conversations about how we could create a network of Christian storytellers and its just a shame she never saw that finally come to fruition.
- Anne Pitcher
I formed storytelling collaboration with Angie Townsend entitled Spooky n Kooky, this basically involved us doing lots of daft things dressed in wonderful costumes. My memories are many but I am so very sad at the moment.
Goodbye Angie Townsend, my memories are many but perhaps the most vivid... The Roman Walk, March 2012. Romans are not my thing, so my research involved watching Gladiator but as usual you threw yourself into the project with enthusiasm and became obsessed by Mithras. On the night I dressed as Cleopatra along with a fake asp and you were a Votadini complete with shopping trolley; we stopped traffic that night, a police car if I recall. The world was a better place with you in it. X
- Nicola Wright
I met Angie in 2012 when we worked together storytelling at the Bruce Festival in Dunfermline. Despite having almost no voice, Angie still managed to tell stories. The reason she gave for losing her voice was that she'd recently received distressing news. Over the course of the day I learned of her breast cancer diagnosis. I was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. My cancer although invasive was successfully treated. I didn't know until later that Angie's had spread.
Angie made every minute she had left count and amazed us all with her incredible ability to remain upbeat & cheerful despite all the gruelling treatment she endured. I am desperately sad for Chris, Bethany & Ceri-Anne that Angie can't share their future. However, I know their faith, friends & family will be there for them always.
No-one who knew Angie will ever forget her.
- Robbie Fotheringham