Oct 20 2010 by Gregor White, Stirling Observer Wednesday
A FASCINATING insight into Dollar’s past and the lives of some its former residents is offered in a book published this week.
In ‘The Dollar Compendium’ village resident Robin Cumming has pulled together some of the most interesting stories to be found in early editions of The Dollar Magazine.
The idea came to him as he was clearing out his parents’ home and found a full set of the magazines from 1902-10 plus others dating to the 1950s.
He sat down and began to read one article, then another and another.
He said: “I realised that a lot of these pieces, though they were written over 10 years ago, were still relevant and that if I found them interesting other people might do too.”
Robin has picked out tales of tiger hunts in India, missionary life in Morocco and life on the Front during the First World War.
There are also bits of much more local history plus snapshots of life at Dollar Academy, which keeps the magazine alive today with publications three times a year.
Asked to pick his personal favourite, Robin plumped for an account of the life of Captain Charles Williamson, born in 1724 and brought up in a home that stood until the mid-1960s when it was cleared to make way for Dollar Academy’s dining hall and swimming pool.
He was a prisoner during the American War of Independence and the last part of his career saw him work for the Diplomatic Service, where he carried sealed orders to the Battle of Trafalgar.
Robin said: “It was just such an amazing adventure for someone born in this tiny village to have gone on, the kind of thing you think there’s probably an entire book on its own to be written about.”
He said a couple of people have already approached him, having had an early look at the book, and told him how it had stirred memories for them too.
“It is a picture of a time and a bit of social history,” he said. “I think people always like to know a bit more about the place they live.”
Robin will be at Stirling’s Waterstones on Saturday from 11am-1pm.
Children’s author Jonathan Stroud will be at Waterstone’s on Tuesday at 4pm. He will be launching his new novel ‘The Ring of Solomon’ and talking about his other books.