It’s a year since I started posting about S.R.Crockett on this site and there’s still plenty to talk about apart from the weather, though you’ll note he has his opinions on that too! In ‘Sweetheart Travellers’ he says: ‘September is usually just August with the gas screwed down and the fire out.’ We’ve had such a poor summer this year that I’m sure we can all empathise with that observation. But I’m here to offer you last hurrah before settling into autumn/winter and the dark days ahead. Days which might be made lighter by escaping into the past or the hills in the company of S.R.Crockett.

1 a 1 a cally sept duchrae[picture Little Duchrae, Crockett’s birthplace]

This September 24th would be S.R. Crockett’s 156th birthday and The Galloway Raiders are celebrating by inviting everyone to host a High Tea. This is your opportunity to make new friends (real and imaginary) while eating cake. Does life get any better than that? If you’re intrigued, find out how you can download your High Tea Pack and join in the fun HERE. https://www.gallowayraiders.co.uk/high-tea-for-srcs-birthday.html1 a 1 a cally sept rainbow

What is a birthday without cake? The High Tea for SRC Pack offers you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the stories – a sort of try before you buy while you eat. The pack costs £5 and gives you all that you need (apart from the company and the ingredients) to host a very special High Tea in honour of S.R.Crockett. By taking part you will also be part of a worldwide book launch. And everyone who buys the pack stands a chance of winning a complete set of The Rainbow Crockett (worth over £50). You can also join the Facebook Event and post up pictures of your own High Tea at
[picture The Rainbow Crockett]
My present for S.R.Crockett’s birthday comes in the form of re-publishing of all seven of his books for children as The Rainbow Crockett series. Crockett was friends with Andrew Lang, who Sweetheart dubbed Mr Sagaman. She loved his Coloured Fairy Books and so I adopted the idea into the design of the Rainbow Crockett. Each volume is a different colour of the Rainbow and set together the series forms a Rainbow on your Bookshelf. I hope Sweetheart, and Crockett, would have approved.
The Rainbow Crockett brings together all seven of Crockett’s books for children – though today they are more appropriate for adults who were children half a century ago. That said, anyone who has children or grandchildren will warm to the relationship between Crockett and ‘Sweetheart’ and laugh at the antics of the fictional family he creates The Picton-Smiths. There are characters aplenty in the stories and they offer the modern reader an insight into family life at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries.
1 a 1 a cally sept toady[picture Hugh John]


History, adventure, romance and nostalgia apart, for me reading is about making friends, albeit imaginary ones. I’ve made loads of imaginary friends through S.R.Crockett, from Patrick Heron and May Maxwell to Hector Faa and more recently the inestimable Toady Lion, who steals every page he turns up on in The Rainbow Crockett. But I’ve also made many real friends as the result of my interest in Crockett’s writing. Setting up the Galloway Raiders and going out and about talking about Crockett has introduced me to many interesting people, and many people with an interest in Crockett, who have become firm friends in the process. As Crockett himself notes in ‘Sweethearts At Home;’
‘For I cannot help my heart beating faster when I set foot on any of the untrodden places of the earth, when I know that the next person I meet will be different from anybody I have ever met before.’
Who says reading is a solitary activity?

1 a 1 a cally sept sweetheart

[picture Sweetheart Travellers]

And while we’re on the topic of getting out and about, especially after all the talk of High Tea, another ‘gift’ for this month is the opportunity to ‘Get on Your Bike’ with SRC. You can go to the Galloway Raiders site here and download the free PDF booklet which will allow you to go on a couple of adventures in Galloway with Crockett and Sweetheart. Whether you cycle for real or simply read about it while eating cake, it shows that there’s much more to Crockett’s fiction than meets the eye!
I look forward to us going together into another winter with S.R.Crockett and the exciting, unexplored places that will take us. In the meantime, I hope to virtually see you at High Tea or out in the by-ways of Galloway.
Cally Phillips

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