Hive Storytellers

The Hive Storytellers are based in the North-East and formed in April 2019. We are a community group made up of ordinary folk who have achieved extraordinary things.

What has HIVE done for you?
Here’s what some of the storytellers said…

Andrew Ball

Andrew Ball was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, and so has a more neutral voice, which, thanks to the Storytellers, he has put to good use (along with a passion for all forms of British comedy, past and present) in performing a wide variety of other regional accents and character types.

Andrew was a finalist in the International Radio Drama Festival 2021 with a Stottie Shields monologue from Hive’s third series of ‘Lowdown in Lockdown’.

Currently residing in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, he has A Levels in Media, History and Photography, & has successfully pursued career paths in Admin & corporate Voice Over work internationally, and is keen on putting these and his acting skills to good use wherever possible.

Ann Ridley

A lifetime of variety has given Ann many treasured experiences: walking the Pennine Way; backpacking around India and Nepal for six months with her long-suffering husband and travelling around Europe in their trusty camper-van. In between times – rocking in a‘60’s band and more recently a ‘30’s band – for fun and friendship.

A career in teaching, nursing and acting has paid the bills.

At present, she enjoys Tap dancing, T’ai Chi and writing – and is delighted to see some of her short stories published in Northern anthologies and a national magazine.

She has two sons of whom she is immensely proud.

John Caffery

John is a retired joiner; he is married with three daughters and six grandchildren. He was a keen fisherman and budgie breeder. His interests include, family history, as well as local and military history.

John researched the Bede train disaster of December 17th 1915, from which came Rule 55 – the first audio drama produced by Hive Radio. He has also researched the men of South Shields who fought in the 1899 – 1902 Boer War, and were awarded the Freedom of the Borough.

Currently John is researching the men who served with the 6th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers (Territorial) in The Great War.

Michael Kean

Michael was born in 1953, went to Bede’s boys’ school in Jarrow, then left school aged 16 and became a commis chef at The Moulin Rouge in Newcastle. He went on to work in construction with 45 years as a J.C.B. Operator.

He has two sons and four grandchildren. His hobbies include playing guitar, writing songs, gardening, walking, driving and meeting people. His poem, ‘Northumbria was a mighty task…’ written and recorded by Michael about ship building was included in an exhibition at South Shields Museum in the summer of 2022.

Michael enjoys creating characters for podcasts and using different voices to make stories come alive.

Delphine Blenkinsop

Delphine loved Drama, English and Art at school, and with another friend was recommended to join Northumberland Youth Theatre by Trevor Nunn; any career would have been short lived though as she developed MS in her 20’s.

Delphine has had a speckled employment path since then. She is now eagerly looking forward to the next production from the Hive Storytellers and drawing some of the characters they create!

David Bye

David is a retired teacher who lives in Northumberland.

His interests include: social history, drama, folk song, film, reading and railway modelling.

He is a member of the Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Genealogy Project.

Diane Gray

Diane is an award winning radio producer.

She has an MA in Radio Production from the University of Sunderland and has many years experience in community radio management. She has worked in industry and has a background in training and workshop delivery.

Lorna Windham

Lorna Windham is a retired teacher and a prize winning author. She is also a poet, producer and director.

She has written three history books: ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘Deaths, Disasters and Dastardly Deeds’ and ‘Murder Mystery and Mayhem’; three novels: ‘The Jacobite’s Daughter’, ‘The Rebel and the Redcoat’ and ‘The Jacobite Affair’, A children’s book ‘Once upon a time in Northumberland’ and her poems have been included in several anthologies such as ‘Coble Coast’, Castle Coast’ and Carbon Coast’.

As a commissioned playwright, her audio plays have been broadcast on Hive radio and one, ‘The Tenth Bord’ has been performed script in hand.

Terry Quy

Terry Quy read English and Art at Exeter University, the ideal course for her as she has written and painted since childhood.

After a career teaching both subjects, Terry continues to devote much of her time to art work.  She has had a number of one-woman exhibitions over the years, produced designs for an acclaimed church kneeler project and receives regular commissions.

Terry’s written work includes a two-part novel, her own family research mystery, Turning Back, available as an e-book on Amazon. Northumberland is also a source of inspiration. Writing regularly for a local magazine and publishing company, she has had two local-history books published, The Holiest Places of Northumberland and Inspired by Northumberland, the latter featuring work of famous artists connected with the area.

Terry has worked with the Hive team previously, co-writing and helping to produce a radio play. She is keen to be further involved with community projects.

  • Ben Hudson
  • Tim Duckworth
  • Kacie Burke
  • Jack Randall
  • Chris Gray
  • Charlotte Arthur
  • Fiona Setch
  • Chris Brock
  • Mike Ridley
  • Keith Hemmer

Chris Jackson

Chris retired from being a Paediatric Nurse, and although she had kept diaries and journals, and written the odd poem over the years, she was keen to improve her skills within audio drama with help from this very supportive group.

Chris took on many roles putting voices to the writing of other members of the group, as well as creating many of her own pieces. She was prepared to try anything new, and took on with gusto the management of sound effects for our script in hand performance of the Tenth Bord.

Sadly, Chris passed away just before Christmas 2022. She has left us a great legacy of recordings that we will always be grateful for. RIP Chris x

Richard Ridley Robinson

Richard travelled around the world training people in welding. He was a musician, composer, and folk singer and a member of Devil’s Water Folk Group.  He wrote a number of songs, and collaborated with Paul Granger and Lorna Windham to write ‘Get ‘Em In Geordie’ a musical based on the life of George Ridley the writer of The Blaydon Races, an anthem for the North East.

Richard joined Hive Storytellers after being in the audience to see the group’s performance of The Tenth Bord at St Hilda’s pit head. He performed in the audio recording of The Tenth Bord, and was also a character in Dodge and Twist when the group were in the final four of an Audible audio drama competition.

Sadly, Richard passed away during the Covid epidemic. RIP Richard.