Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – A-Z of Dumfries: Places – People – History by Mary Smith and Photographs by Keith Kirk


Delighted to showcase the latest local history book from Mary Smith with photographer Keith Kirk, which is on Pre-Order until November 15th. The A-Z of Dumfries: Places – People – History.

About the book

“The town of Dumfries, in the south-west of Scotland and known as ‘the Queen of the South’, became a royal burgh in 1186 and grew into an important market town and port in the medieval period. During its often turbulent past, Dumfries played an important role in the Wars of Independence as the starting point of Robert the Bruce’s campaign for the Scottish throne, and later hosted Bonnie Prince Charlie and his Jacobite army. The poet Robert Burns spent his last years in Dumfries and in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the port of Dumfries benefited from trade with the Americas, as well as being a major exporter of tweed. During the Second World War Dumfries was home to the Norwegian army in exile, and although the port has closed today, it is the administrative centre for the Dumfries and Galloway region.

A–Z of Dumfries delves into the history of the town, revealing interesting and significant moments in its story. It highlights well-known landmarks, famous residents and digs beneath the surface to uncover some of the lesser-known facts about Dumfries and its hidden gems. This fascinating A–Z tour of Dumfries’ history is fully illustrated and will appeal to all those with an interest in this popular town in south-west Scotland.”

Buy the book at the pre-order price: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Z-Dumfries-Places-People-History-Mary-Smith-ebook/dp/B07ZJC238G/

and on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Z-Dumfries-Places-People-History-Mary-Smith-ebook/dp/B07ZJC238G/

Other local history books by Mary Smith

One of the reviews for Secret Dumfries

Secret Dumfries is a non-fiction book depicting the fascinating history of Dumfries, a small town situated on the River Nith in Scotland. Dumfries is also known as the “Queen of the South”, a name bestowed on the town by local poet David Dunbar.

The book is divided into ten chapters each dealing with different aspects of the town, its inhabitants and its history.

Chapter 1: History provides a lot of background to the development and establishment of the town. One particularly interesting historical event was the stabbing of “The Red” Comyn by Robert the Bruce which changed the course of Scottish history.

Chapter 2 deals with Crime and Punishment and one of the titbits of information disclosed in this chapter is that in sixteenth-century Dumfries, anyone caught stealing his neighbour’s peat was branded on the cheek with the towns clock key, heated in a fire made of the stolen peats.

Chapter 3: Health, shares facts and information about the history of disease and illness in the town including outbreaks of the plague, famine and cholera.

Chapter 4 entitled Industrial Dumfries tells the stories about the development of industry in Dumfries. One of the industries discussed is the quarrying for sandstone at Locharbriggs Quarry. This sandstone is a lovely pink to red colour and is clearly detectable as the building material for most of the historical buildings in the town.

Chapter 5 deals with Wartime Dumfries and tells of the backgrounds of famous Doonhammers during times of warfare, including Joseph Brown who fought in the Crimea War and the Indian Mutiny.

Chapter 6: Outdoor Art Gallery describes the lovely outdoor artworks found throughout the town including a collection of unusual finials on the railings along the Whitesands beside the Nith. There are thirty-eight of these finials which were created by Natalie Vardey and designed to link to past and present trades in Dumfries.

Chapter 7: Remarable Doonhammers includes details on a number of interesting residents of the town, the most renown being Robert Burns and his wife, Jean Armour. Interestingly enough, the book discloses that Robert Burns body was dug up twice before it was finally laid to rest in its current mausoleum.

Chapter 8 advises visitors to remember to look up and provides information on all the artworks and historical artifacts above eye level including some facts about the fire marks on selected buildings.

Chapter 9: Recreation provides the history of, inter alia, the Dumfries football team, the name of which is Queen of the South. It also tells of the history of the Dumfries cinemas and even the circus.

Chapter 10: Curiosities, Mysteries and a Sad Story ends with a poignant tale about Tinker, or Derek Styles, a promising young man who was psychologically ruined by the horrors he witnessed during the battle for Goose green in May 1982.

Secret Dumfries is a well written and interesting non-fiction book and I would recommend it to anyone interested in Scottish history.

Also by Mary Smith

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Read the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Smith/e/B001KCD4P0

Read more reviews and follow Mary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith

About Mary Smith

Mary Smith has always loved writing. As a child she wrote stories in homemade books made from wallpaper trimmings – but she never thought people could grow up and become real writers. She spent a year working in a bank, which she hated – all numbers, very few words – ten years with Oxfam in the UK, followed by ten years working in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

She longed to allow others to share her amazing, life-changing experiences so she wrote about them – fiction, non-fiction, poetry and journalism. And she discovered the little girl who wrote stories had become a real writer after all.

Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni: Real Stories of Afghan Women is an account of her time in Afghanistan and her debut novel No More Mulberries is also set in Afghanistan.

Connect to Mary Smith

Website: http://www.marysmith.co.uk/
Facebook addresshttps://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000934032543
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/marysmithwriter
Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239367.Mary_Smith
New Blog: https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/
Blog:   https://marysmith57.wordpress.com/2014/07/

About Photographer Keith Kirk

Keith Kirk is primarily a Wildlife and Natural History Photographer/Writer living and working in the Stewartry area of Dumfries and Galloway. Although he does undertake many other projects and commissions.

His day job was Countryside Ranger with Dumfries and Galloway Council Ranger Service, something he did for over 37 years. In what spare time he has he pursues his passion for the countryside which he shares with you on his blog: http://www.dumfriesandgallowaywildlife.co.uk/

If you live in the area, then why not join Keith on one of his Nocturnal Wildlife Experiences.
Be prepared to be amazed by what you can see and experience with the aid of our professional range of hand held night vision and thermal imaging wildlife observation equipment: Nocturnal Wildlife Experience

Thank you for popping in today and it would be great if your could share the news of Mary’s new book far and wide… thanks Sally