LISTEN: Julie Cumming explains where the inspiration for her book came from
‘From Home’ is the new book from local creative and designer, Julie Cumming, which tells the tale of Blair Atholl through the eyes of the same people who lived it from the 1930’s through the modern day.
Neatly packaged between environmentally friendly materials, curating the eye by drawing attention to the scenic imagery leading throughout the stories, inside lies the stories of more than 25 local residents.
‘It’s one of these hybrids between a coffee table book of my photography and a story book’, explained Julie Cumming.
She added: “I don’t think it’s the kind of book where someone would read it from cover to cover, it’s something you dip in and out of because each narrative has its own chapter.
“The earlier stories are from 1929, so they’re the first, so it goes chronologically, right up to someone who’s moved here in 2001.”
Having lived in the Atholl area since she was three, finding people to share their stories was easy for Julie.
Working at the Blair Atholl Watermill Tearoom, Julie has had the chance to get to know a lot of the regulars and their stories from growing up in the rural area.
Which was why Julie wanted to write the book, she said: “They’re always chatting about stories from when they were little and all the mischief that they got up to, and I just thought, there’s nothing really to capture that.
“If you’re not having these conversations with these people, you don’t know all these nice little stories about the area and the people that lived in it.
“I think it’s very easy to find out information about the land but not quite so much about the people who actually live here, and I think the people are very important to an area.
“So, to me it was important to document all these stories somehow.”
From Glen Tilt, to Blair Atholl and to Killiecrankie, the stories captured share the beauty of community, the sensation of rural summer and toils of weary winters.
One contributor, Libby Mackintosh, said: “I have so many lovely memories of growing up in Blair Atholl: getting married and then bringing up our two girls in such a brilliant, friendly community. I am so looking forward to reading other peoples’ memories of an amazing wee village.”
Another Blair Atholl resident, Neil Mackintosh, added: “A true lover of local nature and tradition, Julie approached me a few months back asking if I would contribute to a book she was planning to write, titled ‘From Home’. The book would be a compilation of local people’s stories… Mostly I think of their younger days living in the village.
“Although I doubted if my stories would be worthy of such a book, I was more than happy to oblige. Today, the book is about to be printed. Like many in the village, I look forward so very much to opening the pages and starting to read.”
Her book comes from support of various organisations too, such as the Time to Shine, Scotland’s Youth Arts and the Grand Lodge of Scotland’s COVID appeal challenge.
More information on the ‘From Home’ book can be found on Julie’s website: https://juliecreatedthis.co.uk/
Or by contacting the author on: firstname.lastname@example.org