Round And Round The Garden

Five stories inspired by nursery rhymes


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By Gillian Tindall.

The old song about the destruction and rebuilding of a bridge brings back childhood memories that suggest that there is more to the rhyme than just history.

Read by Diana Bishop.

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By Diana Hendry.

It's one thing being followed to school by a snowy little lamb when you're seven, and quite another being stalked by a fat grubby ewe when you're 17, as Mary finds out.

Read by Sally Cookson.


By Peggy Pole.

Violent robbery, abduction and mutilation are the unsettling ingredients of the legend behind an innocuous-sounding farmyard rhyme.

Read by John Mackay

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By Marina Warner.

When Mary arrives at school from her home far away, the seeds which the nuns give her to plant in the garden are as much a mystery to her as the strange habits and behaviour of her schoolmates.

Read by Carolyn Backhouse

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By Mimi Thebo.

It was frosty the night the horses came, and no one could explain why they should appear on that particular night, or even if they came at all: memory, like the mist on the mulberry bush, is an insubstantial thing.

Read by Bonnie Hurren


by Alan Ayckbourn, starring Rosalind Ayres, Martin Jarvis, Jane Leeves and Carolyn Seymour.

The third of Ayckbourn's comic trilogy, The Norman Conquests, "Round and Round the Garden" takes place in an English country garden during a disastrous family weekend.

Norman is an assistant librarian whose conquests, unlike those of the warrior race to whom he presumably owes his name, are amorous rather than military.

Heavily laced with lunacy and occasionally spiked with venom, Ayckbourn examines the foibles of the English middle class, mixing hilarity with pointed social comment.