Former Dursley headteacher writes book inspired by pig that ‘saved Gloucester’

A former Stroud and Dursley headteacher has written a book inspired by the pig that legend says saved the city of Gloucester during the English Civil War.

Teacher turned professional storyteller Bill Church published his latest children’s book, Pig the Legend, last month.

The book tells the story of Abby Brown, who travels back in time to the Siege of Gloucester in 1643.

Legend has it that a pig made so much noise that Royalist spies mistakenly believed the city still had lots of food left.

While this seems likely to be a myth, Charles I resisted calls to attack the city and was later forced to flee when the Parliamentarian army arrived to break the siege.

Parts of the book, which is suitable for 9-13 year olds, are also set in Second World War France.

The story also touches on the theme of Alzheimer’s and all profits from the sale of the book will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Bill taught at Stroud Valley School (then Church Street Junior) in the 1970s and later became headteacher of Cashes Green and then Dursley primary schools.

Having written and told stories throughout his time as a teacher, Bill left education ten years ago to become The Story Traveller and now tells tales for a living.

Bill said: “I was doing live Story Telling gigs in Gloucestershire and Bristol and was looking for some new stories that had a local theme.

“I came across a ‘story’ of the pig saving Gloucester during the Civil War siege. So I decided I would tell the legend to adult audiences.

“Later whilst working in some schools about developing stories I told a group of children I had this idea of playing with the legend – so I demonstrated how I could develop the story and I did.”

More information about the book, which was illustrated by Jane Fryer, is available at troubador.co.uk/bookshop/young-children/pig-the-legend

Gazette Series Gloucestershire