History of Hive

Founder members of The Hive Radio Storytellers first met in 2013-14 through Hive Radio based at Bede’s World in Jarrow. Diane was the Manager of the community radio station; Ben was the Volunteer Coordinator and a volunteer for the radio. Writer, Lorna, came to the radio with a framed 1915 photograph of Boldon Football Team. Her family wanted to share this with the team’s descendants. Researcher, John, arrived at the museum with information about his football playing grandmother who was also a munitionette in WW1. Through these meetings all four collaborated in the production of the first Audio Drama for Hive – Rule 55 which commemorated the Bede train disaster of 1915.

Community Arts Project North East (CAPNE)

On the closure of Bede’s World, Diane and Ben retained the radio station. They set up Community Arts Project North East as a social enterprise and registered as a Community Interest Company. Initially, they worked from home and then in an office and radio studio in Bilton Hall Community Trust in Jarrow. The Storytellers subsequently moved to the newly renovated  St. Hilda’s Pit Head and then Perth Green CA.

Hive Radio Storytellers

Hive Radio Storytellers, an audio drama group, was formed using funding received from the National Lottery in 2019. The first play produced in that year was The Tenth Bord, to commemorate the St Hilda’s pit disaster of 1839. This was successfully podcast and performed script in hand at St Hilda’s Pit Head. In the same year they were excited to be the only amateur group amongst four finalists in Audible’s national competition. Excitement rose when the group learned they had been invited to record at the fabulous Audible Studios in London.

Hive Radio Storytellers became an independent constituted group in 2020 supported by CAPNE until their closure in April 2021. When the Pandemic hit, the group continued to meet via Zoom and focused on podcasts, and were joined by new members. Lorna suggested the group write and perform a series of humorous Podcasts called Lowdown in Lockdown: short monologues about residents in a fictional South Shields Close. Three series later, when the group physically met again, they decided to produce regular Podcasts which told stories of the north and beyond, to a growing worldwide audience.

2022 – Performance of “The Tenth Bord”

In 2022, the Storytellers were delighted to perform, The Tenth Bord, script in hand at The Word to an enthusiastic South Shields audience.

2022 – Audio Trails

In 2022, the storytellers were invited to create, record and produce fictional characters and their stories for two successful audio trails managed by the Wildlife Trust at Northumberlandia. This community project attracted numerous volunteers and we received rave reviews from hundreds of visitors.

2023 – Hive Storytellers

Success built on success for the newly renamed Hive Storytellers. In January 2023 the group was invited to create a Fantastical Audio Trails at Ashington’s Hirst Park and is also in discussion with various venues across the North East.

Thanks to the following organisations and individuals…

We have been helped in so many different ways as we have progressed as a group. We would like to thank everyone who has done so, including Audible, The National Lottery, Cultural Spring, Jarrow Big Local, Bilton Hall Community Trust, Perth Green Community Association, Tyne and Wear Preservation Trust, South Tyneside Council, Cramlington Town Council, The Word, The Wednesday Heritage Group, Northumberland Woodland Trust, Hirst Park Ashington, The musicians from LOWP.  All the community groups and individuals who have supported our research and provided feedback, all our members past and present, and Design and Web, in particular Ralph and Sue in their support creating this website.