Once upon a time in a Yorkshire village, two girls out were out exploring the woods when they inadvertently created a myth that has so far lasted 100 years.
The Cottingley Fairies have held onto our imaginations for a century, ever since photographs emerged showing cousins, Frances and Elsie playing among the trees with a series of small, winged figures.
Whether they really were fairies or simply cardboard cutouts, it didn’t ultimately matter. They transformed the bare natural landscape into a magical place, where suspending disbelief added a new dimension to this otherwise overlooked location.
Public interest in the photos was so persistent that the plates were still being analysed decades later; that’s how badly we wanted to find out whether we were allowed to see the magic too.
Right up until her death, Frances insisted that the fifth photograph was not faked, and her denial leaves a ringing in our ears no matter how rational we consider ourselves to be.
100 years later, Cottingley Gin now based in York usually seen on the shambles market keep the fairytale alive with their 40% abv gins full of flavour and a sprinkle of fairy dust.