Born in Scotland and brought up in England, Fran studied Scottish History at St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities and many of her favourite tales are those based on historical events. Whilst working as a tour guide in the underground streets and vaults of Old Edinburgh she further developed a taste for the darker side of history, and loves telling tales of ghosts, spectres, witches and scary things.
Fran has loved stories from an early age, and still has two tales she wrote as a 6-year old entitled The Dragon and The Haunted House. If you had asked her at the age of 9 what she wanted to be, she would have said a ghosthunter!
Fran believes that stories are vital to our understanding of the world – and that stories have the power to change the way people think. Whilst taking groups of schoolchildren to the battlefields of the First World War she discovered that stories can be powerful, moving and life-enhancing, and provide a valuable framework for emotions to thrive.
Fran moved to Orkney in 2004: in her work as a tour guide and custodian of historic monuments, she has surrounded herself with legends, folktales and history, and loves sharing them with others. Her ghost tours in Orkney’s haunted locations have been very popular. In 2010 she was instrumental in revitalising the Orcadian Story Trust, and has organised two Orkney Storytelling Festivals with the aim of making it an annual event.
As well as performing throughout the islands, Fran has also told stories at festivals in Scotland and Norway. She is currently enjoying rediscovering the folktales of England, particularly East Anglia where she grew up, and bringing them to new audiences.
People have described Fran’s storytelling as lively, warm, funny and enthusiastic; she believes that to tell a good story you need to feel it in your heart – communication is all, whatever the age or background of the audience.
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Everyone is a storyteller! Find out how you can learn a few tales to share with friends or how you can become a professional.