From Mermaids to Moomaids

The Little Mermaid and the Mermaid of Zennor is the latest mini storybook in Purple Pomegranate Press’s range of Send a Story as a Card publications. You can see the full collection from this charming company at the British Craft Trade Fair, taking place from April 10-12 at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate, Stand 184.

Everybody is familiar with Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Little Mermaid but they may not be so familiar with the legend of the Mermaid of Zennor. The 400-year-old legend tells of a mermaid with a beautiful voice who fell in love with a young man, Mathew Trewhella, who sang in the church choir.

Purple Pomegranate Press has also created a notebook for children to fill with story ideas and drawings from their visit to the seaside. The notebook comes with three mermaid stickers. Both books are illustrated by Claire Fletcher who perfectly captures all the fairy tale colours of the little mermaid’s undersea world. It is her imagination that takes us to the mermaids’ castle beneath the sea and the foaming whirlpools where the Sea Witch lives.

Zennor where the legend took place

A ribbon of road winds over the clifftops with sunlight dancing on the sparkling sea on one side and rugged moorlands with boulders of grey granite and sunflower-yellow gorse on the other, both nestled beneath a brilliant blue sky. This is the road that leads to the little village of Zennor on the Cornish coast near St Ives.

As the road turns into Zennor, the grey granite tower of St Senara’s Church comes into view and St Senara’s is where this mermaid legend began. Inside you’ll find the medieval bench carved over 400 years ago and linked to the legend of the mermaid. It is thought that the figure of the mermaid with her mirror and comb was carved into the pew to commemorate the story.

Whilst you’re there, take time to visit the wonderful Zennor Wayside Café and Gift Shop owned by Molly and Mike. Their gift shop is a lovingly created Tardis of unique gifts that spins you back to childhood – marbles, cats cradles, spinning tops and fairy tales and spins you forward again to adulthood with books of sea storms, wild interiors and surfers’ tales, crocheted seashells in coral colours, blue whale and mermaid cushion tea towels, gifts of sand, sea and storm all windswept and warm.

Have a coffee or one of their very special Moomaid ice creams, walk the cliffs, visit the church, see the bench and feel the special magic that seeps out of the cracks in the earth and the blue of the sky and sparkles in the grey granite of this little village of Zennor. A place sparks a story and Zennor sparked the Legend of the Mermaid of Zennor. Let it spark a story in you.

The Little Mermaid and The Little Mermaid Notebook are both at Zennor Wayside Gift Shop.

The Little Mermaid will also be available with the legend of the Mermaids of Staithes, a story set in the little village of Staithes on the Yorkshire coast near Whitby.


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