Above: Elizabeth Giles (aka Granny Woodfort) from Union Hall pictured with great grand-daughter Lily Crowley (age 4) from Bandon
A unique new book for children aged five to 10 years, ‘Jackie Dorey Stories’ was launched last week by West Cork author and artist, Elizabeth Giles. Also known as ‘Granny Woodfort’, the 82-year-old great-grandmother has compiled a collection of her favourite Jackie Dorey stories, featuring an eccentric family of tiny people who live at the bottom of a beech tree. The stories have been passed down through generations of the Giles family and hark back to simpler times, with titles such as ‘The Blackberry Jam Story’ and ‘The Wool Gathering’.
Rich in detail and full of old-fashioned charm, children will be intrigued by the unusual lifestyle of the Dorey family in these imaginative tales. A talented artist, the book features beautiful illustrations by Giles, to further bring the characters and their adventures to life.
Commenting at the launch, Elizabeth Giles (Granny Woodfort) said: “When I was a little girl, I was told that Jackie Dorey was a little man who lived amongst the tory tops in our wood. It fascinated me. The idea of little people living there caught my imagination. I started to picture them and invent stories about the family to tell my sisters after we were sent to bed at night. Later, when I was married and had children of my own, I told them about the little people — then my grandchildren and now my great-grandchildren! Jackie Dorey has been in my family’s lives for over 80 years and I am delighted to have the opportunity to share these stories with other children.”
Jackie Dorey Stories also includes an audio version, read by Granny Woodfort and featuring a number of songs written and performed by her family.
Jackie Dorey Stories is available for purchase at local bookshops.
Elizabeth Giles was born in Exeter in Devon in 1932. She is the eldest of eight children and after her mother’s death in the late 1940s, the family moved to Bandon in West Cork. She married in 1955, moved to ‘Woodfort’ House and had six children of her own. Now in her 80s, she lives beside the sea in West Cork. She has 24 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, all whom still love hearing about Jackie Dorey’s adventures!