Cromarty Image Library

Jemimaville Village - c1920
The Cromarty Archive
Jemimaville Village - c1920

Picture added on 05 February 2004
This picture is in the following groups
Jemimaville, Poyntzfield, Balblair and Resolis
Comments:
I live in Brighton, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, and am interested in Jane Duncan. I have a complete set of her "My Friend" books and re-read them periodically. My husband and I visited Reachfar in 1998 and am interested in finding more information about Jane Duncan..
Added by Elise Hall on 20 February 2004
I was looking through Jemimaville on the web and found your entry.
I, too, am a fan of Jane Duncan having started reading her books in 1968 when I lived in the Far East. I do not, however, have a complete set of her books.
I have seen The Colony from the distance - it was too far up hill for my husband and myself to walk! I have also visited her grave - many times, and also been to the house on the shore called Reachfar which she owned latterly. I even rented out her cottage on the main street of Jemimaville for a week. She had a bookshop and coffee shop in Cromarty itself which I discovered.
Added by Jan Robey on 01 July 2004
Jane Duncan was Matron of honour at my wedding. If you contact me I will try to give you further information. Our family knew her well.
Added by Mary Mackay now Harrison on 02 February 2005
Just found this picture and the tallest building at top of picture was Jimmy and Kathy Fergusons shop made comment on other picture but now have seen this I know I was mistaken about other picture sorry
Added by HAZEL PENDLE (NEE MACLEAN) on 21 September 2005
That shop was there for many years - I grew up in Jemimaville and when I was young the shop was owned by a Mr & Mrs Riddle then Mr & Mrs Douglas and in the late sixties Kath & Jimmy took it over. Although I left the village in 1960 I was sad to hear the shop had closed - it was the heart of the village. Happy memories. Yes the Garage is still going now run by brothers Hugh & James Scott.
Added by Mary Mackay now Harrison on 22 September 2005
I landed on this Jemimaville site tonight by sheer accident. The photos took me down memory lane. As a young boy, I used to visit a lady there called Sally Ralph, this must have been the late 40's/early50's. She must be dead many years now, but if any old resident can provide me with any information on Sally, it would be much appreciated.
Added by Don A Munro, Brisbane, Australia on 10 February 2006
Hello Don
I'm sure if you contact Mary Mackay who has added her comments on this page, she will be able to let you know about Sally Ralph and, indeed may know someone who knew her.
Jan
Added by Jan Robey on 10 February 2006
Yes Don, I can give you info on Sally - she was friend to all, young and old alike. I spent most of my time in Sally's company as I lived about 5 doors away. She died in a Nursing home in Muir-of Ord in 1993. Feel free to contact if you have any questions. Peace and Love, Mary.
Added by Mary Mackay now Tomlinson Harrison on 11 February 2006
To Mary and Jan, Thank you for responding so quickly. For Mary, I'd be grateful to learn a little more about Sally. May I take up your offer? You can contact me by email on doremy@iprimus.com.au
Added by Don A Munro, Brisbane, Australia on 12 February 2006
Don I'm sorry but I've tried to send you an Email but it keeps being returned as"Unknown Host" I can give you information on Sally (her name was Relph not Ralph)
Added by Mary Mackay now Tomlinson Harrison on 13 February 2006
Its really great to see such in an interest in the metropolis of Jemimaville! I am Jane Scott, eldest Daughter of James Scott of the Garage. Happy to inform all that the Garage is still going strong. My father knew Jane Duncan very well, and she owned our house at one point 'The Old Hall'. Father struck a deal with Jane and purchased the house, developing it oh some 35-36 years ago. To Don of Brisbane, I knew Sally too, a lovely lady. My Mother and Father still visit Kathy Ferguson who now stays in Invergordon. Jimmy died a few years back and is sorely missed.
Added by Jane M Scott on 16 June 2006
Hi Jane, I know your father but moved from Newhall 38 years ago to Cambridge -shire. I would be grateful if you would pass on that. I often think of them at the garage and I know it's still running as Geordie still takes his car there. And if Mum and Dad would say hello to Kathy Ferguson when they next see her I would be grateful thankyou. Yes many fond memories of Jemimaville Kathy and Jimmys Shop many a time spent there with Kathleen Joan and young James as he was called!!!! Thanks once again Hazel
Added by HAZEL PENDLE (NEE MACLEAN) on 18 June 2006
To Hazel, I will of course pass on your good wishes. Was up North (just back down today) to see Father for Fathers Day. We spent sometime online on Friday night looking at the pictures here. I had hoped to raid the family photo box as there are a few old pictures of the village from 'our end' which I'd like to put on the site. If you wish to get in touch with Mum and Dad, contact me via email and I'll pass on their home email address. Best wishes, Janey.
Added by Jane M Scott on 18 June 2006
Hello, I made an entry further up the page in relation to Jane Duncan. Does anybody know the present owners' surname who live in The Old Store? It's an Orcadian name ... Frobisher or something like that. I've forgotten - I usually send them a Christmas card and, although it's a bit early, thought I would ask seeing you old Jemimavillans are adding comments to the site.

Added by Jan Robey on 20 June 2006
I have been searching the internet for references to Jane Duncan and was interested to stumble across this page. She was a relative of mine: my great aunt (although she died before I was born). My mother (her niece) is one of the Cameron children featured in the Camerons books. I have just started reading Letter from Reachfar today and hope to go on to read some others! Very interesting to know that there are still people interested in her books, just a pity that most are out of print and seemingly hard (or expensive) to get hold of.
Added by Gareth Hollands on 28 September 2006
I have been a huge fan of Jane Duncan's books for many years, and have finally been able to purchase 'My Friends George and Tom' which completes my collection. I hope to visit Jemimaville soon. Can anyone tell me where she is buried?
Added by Angela Campbell on 27 October 2006
I believe Jane Duncan is buried in Kirkmichael graveyard which isn't far from the village. If you are in Jemimaville you look across to the graveyard it is just round from Newhall Point.
Added by Jane M Scott on 28 October 2006
Jane is right - Kirkmichael graveyard is opposite Jemimaville. As you enter the churchyard, take the path down to the sea and about two thirds of the way down (if I remember) Jane's grave is in front of her brother's looking out towards the Colony - which is the row of houses on the skyline opposite.
Added by Jan Robey on 29 October 2006
There is a website about Kirkmichael which also has further information on Jane Duncan:
www.kirkmichael.info.
Added by Gareth Hollands on 29 October 2006
Looks like both Jan and Gareth have confirmed the spot for Jane Duncan. I've sent in some of my photos of Jemimaville, Kirkmichael and some others. Hopefully they'll be accepted and published soon.

Oh Gareth, impressed to see you hunting out your relative. If any of us can give you further info please let us know.
Added by Jane M Scott on 29 October 2006
This is Elise Hall again, I can't believe how many comments there are now.
A small but passionate area of interest and I wonder how many more of us are out there. It is a beautiful part of the world, made special by Jane Duncan for some of us.

Added by Elise Hall on 31 October 2006
Judging by the prices some of Jane's books bring on E Bay, there must be more devoted fans out there!
Added by Angela Campbell on 02 November 2006
It may be interesting to know that some of Jane Duncan's work was translated into Dutch. As a boy, Camerons on the Train was one of my favourite books. I kind of fancied your mother, Gareth! :-) I've only recently discovered the My Friend books. It's amazing how she brings those characters to life: Tom, George, the "Ould Leddy", Janet herself... it's like you're there in the room with them. Truly amazing. A world so near (after all, what's eighty years) and yet so far away...
Added by Paul Vinkenoog on 03 November 2006
Angela - I have often thought that Jane must have a huge body of fans and what could be done about it. A web site maybe which might persuade a publisher to reprint her books.
Added by Jan Robey on 03 November 2006
Perhaps as Jan states.......there needs to be a website....Gareth, you are a relative, what do you think? Is there a Jane Duncan fellowship, group or something? I must admit I've not read a book, I bought one for my Mother Margaret a few years back, one of the My friends.......
The fondness for the books appears strong, is there a chance that a film or series could be produced around them? Perhaps the modern media is a way to let Jane Duncan reappear?

Added by Jane M Scott on 03 November 2006
Great idea Jan. I don't personally know anyone else who has read these books, so have never been able to enjoy any discussion about them! However, the comments are growing quickly on this site, so I think there'd be a lot of interest.
Added by Angela Campbell on 03 November 2006
Hi Jane, I read The my Friends series of books must be 20 or more years ago, they were in my local Library. I liked them so much as you read some of them although she changed the names it was in and around Jemimaville and Udale!! Also my sister Patricia (TRISH MACIVER) used to be housekeeper for Jane Duncan. And yes it would be great if they could make a Film or series. And to Elsie yes it is a beautiful part of the world always be home to me.
Added by HAZEL PENDLE (NEE MACLEAN) on 03 November 2006
Hi Jan and Angela, sounds like a great idea to create a web site and maybe a film or TV series. There are still some books in our local library in large print, so the interest is still there. I would love to know how much of her writing was autobiographical, it seems so real when reading her "My Friends" books. She really made the characters seem like people you would like to meet.
p.s. to Angela my name is Elise, not Elsie!
Added by Elise Hall on 05 November 2006
To All, it is my understanding through conversations on Jane Duncan with my Parents that all the books were derived from 'characters' locally. I'm not sure it was always held as particulary complimentary to those who resided around the area at the times of her writing. Changing the names to those further afield is one thing, but to those locally........well all knew who was who! To all, I've got my first book now purchased today off ebay.........so I'll read and see what the interest is all about :D As for the TV series idea......we no longer have Hamish MacBeth, no longer have Monarch of the Glen........so what about the My Friends? Not sure how to pitch them to a production team, need to do some research.

Added by Jane M Scott on 05 November 2006
Well, I think that the web site could certainly be the first step before launching the idea further. Unfortunately, I am web site illiterate! Anyone there with sufficient knowledge?
Added by Jan Robey on 06 November 2006
I forgot to add that in April this year, I contacted the Kirkmichael Trust who offered to put any info re Jane Duncan on their web site and keep it there pending the start of a Jane Duncan web site.
Added by Jan Robey on 06 November 2006
Could plans include a discussion site for readers to share perceptions etc. about the books? I'd love to discuss them with other readers.
(P.S. To Elise - when did I refer to you as Elsie?)
Added by Angela Campbell on 06 November 2006
Well, I have taken some steps at least. So that we do not clog up this page with 'Jane Duncan comments' I propose we open an MSN group to discuss a web site and give us a chance to talk about the books. Perhaps anybody interested in this idea, could email me? I shall be away from 11 to 18 November so will not have access to a pc.
Added by Jan Robey on 08 November 2006
Dear All, please see some photos that the site has uploaded for me.
Added by Jane M Scott on 11 November 2006
Ref comment about J duncan material for inclusion / "storage" on Kirkmichael website please contact the site developer on info@kirkmichael.info. if anyone wishes to go this route.
Added by Gavin Meldrum on 30 December 2006
Comments about the Jane Duncan "My Friend..." series. I read these books years ago and have since re-read them two or three times. I am now in the process of purchasing the series and have them all but My Friends George and Tom. I would love to be involved with a web site forum. I think a TV series, as long as it is done in Britian, would be wonderful.
Added by Blue on 26 February 2007
Is anyone aware of whether there is a published local history of Jemimaville and/or the surrounding area? I am researching Jane Duncan (Elizabeth Jane Cameron) and would also be interested in corresponding with anyone who has any memories of her or of her family.
Added by Rita Rippetoe, PhD on 17 May 2007
I first read Jane Duncan's books years ago and have re-read them many times, they took me to the Black Isle ten years ago and I have been returning often to spend time in that lovely place ever since. The Colony is in bad repair now and quite difficult to get to except on foot. I found Uncle George's grave in the Gaelic Cemetary in Cromarty, the grave's quite near the church and has Jane's father, grandfather, grandmother and aunts' names on the rather grand four sided headstone. Donny Munro (I stay b & b at Newfield, near Kirkmichael, with him and his wife Jean) took me to see Kathy Ferguson before she left Jemimaville and she very kindly answered my many questions about Jane Duncan, I remember going home with fresh strawberries and some wonderful homemade raspberry jam!!
Added by Diane Thatcher on 10 September 2007
Diane, Kathy is good and now in Invergordon. Legend in the Jam making stakes! We are lucky enough to get some home baked goodies at Christmas. Mum and Dad visit from time to time to catch up.
Added by Jane M Scott on 14 September 2007
Jane, please ask them to give my regards to Kathy. I think of her every time I pass through Jemimaville (which is getting more and more often)!
Added by Diane Thatcher on 19 September 2007
The name of the people who live in "The Old Store" (which now carries the additional name of "Reachfar") is Mr and Mrs Foubister. Foubister is an Orcadian name.
Added by Jenny on 16 October 2007
In the '60s I had a very upsetting teaching practice but a kind tutor handed me a copy of one of Jane Duncan's books. She told me to read it and not to worry. I did and immediately forgot my problems. Since then I have read all of her work. Thank you Jane Duncan. I would love to know what happened to her niece & nephews.
Added by Elizabeth Lloyd on 21 October 2007
Hi Elizabeth, I wonder which book that was! Did it have anything to do with teaching or was it just great reading so it made you relax? As for the Cameron children, look at Gareth Hollands' messages on this page. I've also googled their names a while ago and got multiple hits. I somehow concluded that the lady from the Forestry Commission was "our" Shona, but I don't remember why.
Added by Paul Vinkenoog on 21 October 2007
Hi Elizabeth (and anyone else reading this),
Jane Duncan was my great aunt (although I never met her) and Shona of the books is my mother. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the family and I might be able to help.
Added by Gareth Hollands on 21 October 2007
Hi Paul, I can't remember which book it was but I do remember the shock when Twice died in a book I read later.I took Gareth up on his offer and brought the story of The Hungry Generation up to date.However before I turn into a Barbara Pym character I think I should stop! Elizabeth Lloyd 25th October '07
Added by Elizabeth Lloyd on 25 October 2007
Hi Elizabeth, the book you are referring to is "My Friend the Swallow" and while checking which book it is, brought a lump in my throat.
Added by Elise Hall on 30 November 2007
Thank you, Elise, I am going to read that book again.
Added by Elizabeth Lloyd on 01 December 2007
I was hoping to visit Jemimaville in the coming year. This year I visited Perth and asked about Jane Duncan in several bookstores. I did find that some of her childrens's books had been republished with a new artist. So I bought the two available for my own grandchildren.
I think a TV series would be excellent. Reprinting her books would be even better. I do not have a complete set and those still in our library have occasionally disappeared never to return. If anyone knows anywhere I could find My Friend My Father, My Friends George & Tom or Letter from Reachfar please contact me. Information on Jemimaville's tourist accommodation would be welcome also. Bed& Breakfast Establishments seemed to be available in the Loch Tay and Loch Rannoch areas, what is it like around the Colony and environs.
I would be glad to hear from anyone.
Added by Betty Hyland on 13 December 2007
Betty - have you tried www.abebooks.co.uk? An excellent site for tracking down and buying unusual or out of print books.
Added by Colin on 14 December 2007
Hi Betty I run a B & B which is only one mile from Jemimaville. The name of the house is Newfield and the web address is www.newfield-bb.co.uk
Added by Jean Munro on 14 December 2007
Betty Im certain that "Newfield" will be a very good place to stay when you decide to stay I have known the Munro family for many I grew up with Donnie and his brothers and they are a very very fine family enjoy your trip I envy you
Added by Mary MacKay now Tomlinson Harrison on 14 December 2007
Thanks everyone for your help. I took the information over to my daughter and grandaughter for them to digest as well. My granddaughter will be in University till April so our trip will probably be timed for May. But as I said this is the planning time.
Betty
Added by Betty Hyland on 15 December 2007
Colin, the abebooks.co.uk website for tracking down out of print books has been useful, I had been trying for sometime to get the last book in a trilogy by Josephine Cox, Vagabonds and with your help it has now been ordered and is on its way. Many thanks.
Added by Jean Bell on 16 December 2007
Hi there. I've just come across this site from way down in London and wondered if anybody has any information on an Evelyn Moir/Chisholm? I knew her in her early 20's and last I knew, she was running a farm with Kenneth in Balblair. She was a lovely woman, incredibly generous and so devoted to her children and grandchildren, particularly a wee girl from Jemimaville itself as I recall. She'd be in her 60's now. Does anybody here know of her? Please let me know as soon as possible. any information hugely appreciated. Thank You.
Added by Karen on 25 April 2008
My great grandfather was Hugh Munro (died 1877)married to Ann Munro and my great, great grandfather was Donald Munro (farmer) married to Mary Munro (nee Ross) both from Jemimaville. I wondered if any of descendants were still around or if there are any parish records? I will be passing through Jemimaville from Edinburgh week commecning 12 July 2008. Any help would be much appreciated.
Added by Ann Stoddart (nee Munro) on 05 July 2008
I, too, stumbled across this site more or less by accident. I have been a "fan" for many years and own all her works. A couple of years ago I visited the area - first time north of Edinburgh, although I know the lowland corridor well, - and was blessed by fabulous weather (as so often in early autumn). I visited all the "sights/sites" and felt a really strong connection, following from knowledge of the books. I shall never tire of reading/rereading them. I would so love to know what happened to her niece and nephews.
Added by Penny Harrison on 17 September 2008
I am researching my family tree and Eliza Innes, my ancester, married a Thomas Ross who, according to the 1891 Census, was the police Constable in Jemimaville residing at No 17 High St. They had three children Henrietta, George and Donald.
Does anyone know if any of the Children have descendants in the area? Thanks.
Added by Eric Simpson on 18 October 2008
Quite a number of the people commenting seem to be Jan Duncan fans. There is a Live Journal Community about Jane Duncan and her books. It can be found at:

community.livejournal.com/my_friend_jane/

It is free and open to anyone to join who wants to celebrate Jane Duncan’s novels. If you have any trouble accessing it just email me and I'll try to help.
Added by FA Watson on 07 February 2009
Thank you Florence I was very interested to read your discussions.I only own My friend My Father and Letter from Reachfar although I have read all the rest in the past.
Added by Elizabeth Lloyd on 08 February 2009
Hi - my father has told me that relations of mine way, way back were from Jemimaville. Apparently they were cartographers who went off to Canada in the Gold Rush. My great-grandad was called John Ross (his parents were John Ross & Catherine Munro) and he married Helen McStephen in 1892. It was only whilst showing my dad photos of my trip to Inverness (and my drive through Jemimaville) that he mentioned all this. Any information on my family would be welcome! Thanks in advance.
Added by Carol Ross on 04 July 2009
We are about to start a book discussion about Jane Duncan's novels on the 'My Friend Jane' community. It starts next Monday (13 July 2009), and this discussion will focus on various 'Reachfar' based characters. Anyone who wants to join in is welcome.
Added by FA Watson on 06 July 2009
Nowhere in any of Jane Duncan's bios has it said of what she died. I have been reading (and rereading) her books since I first read Miss Boyds in 1962, at age 10.
Added by Ginny on 30 August 2009
I have been told that she died of a heart attack.
Added by Jan Robey on 30 August 2009
I don't know if the book discusson got off the ground in July. If it did is it on a separate web site?
I did not know Jane Duncan had died until quite a while after her death. I presume My Friends George & Tom and Letter to Reachfar were her last books?
I did find a reprint of her children's books with a new artist. I was able to buy two of these for my grandchildren in Aberfeldy in 2007.
I am still looking for several other titles as they are now being sithdrawn from our Library system here.
Added by I.Hyland Winnipeg on 30 August 2009
The JD book discussion has been done; relatively few people participated but you can see all the comments on the livejournal community.

Even though the discussion 'ended' in early August, as a moderator, I still monitor the community page and will reply to any comments you post. It is completely free to join livejournal (you do not need to join to look, just to comment).

Your best bet to find Jane Duncan books is alibris books - a web-based secondhand 'bookstore'. Put alibris into google and it will find it for you. They sell all over the globe.

Added by Anon on 31 August 2009
Hi it has been a while since I had a look on this site, so missed the discussion group. The interest is still growing, it is a pity my friends have not read Jane's books, but I will not lend them!
My mother lent "My friends The Miss Boyds" never to be seen again. My complete collection remains intact in Melbourne Australia. I have told my children that the books are valuable and will be part of my legacy!
Added by Elise Hall on 24 September 2009
An excellent legacy indeed! Please check back to the Jane Duncan livejournal community in a month or so, as we have further plans. The discussion group is still pretty small but we are not giving up!
Added by FA Watson on 24 September 2009
Tried to get My friend Sashie and into 3 healthy figures...am collecting-a real thrill to find -have 13 friends. Bne Oz.
Added by Joan Moss on 20 April 2010
Hi - Visited Cromarty yesterday to visit the newly opened Jane Duncan exhibition at the Courthouse. Had tears in my eyes as I read the wall panels and could identify the books that the excerpts were taken from. I started collecting the My Friend books many years ago and have hardbacks of the complete series. Glad I'm not still searching as the prices have gone quite astronomical! Millbrace publishing I see are reprinting The Miss Boyds to be launched in June - always hoped that the books could be made into a TV series as they would lend themselves well to Sunday night drama. Enjoying re-reading the books in this the centenary year. Going to do a walking tour of the Black Isle and once and for all work out which were the houses Jane Duncan inhabited - any help with this much appreciated.
Added by June Young on 04 May 2010
Hi June

She lived in Rose Cottage on the main road in Jemimaville and then moved down in front of that cottage nearer to the seashore to the Old Store which she renovated and renamed Reachfar.

Jan
Added by Jan Robey on 04 May 2010
I'm interested in the name 'Reachfar' for Jane's house at the back of the village as for the time I grew up in there from 1973 onwards we didn't call it that. I know that it changed hands a few times and a new owner renamed it Reachfar late on, until then it was always 'The Store' to us. I certainly in my teenage years know it as the Store as the Fairs had the property as I visited a pal from school in the house. I know Jane Duncan died when I was very young, my Father knew her and did deal with her for a property swap in the village. Does anyone know of the name change then? I can't recall what Dad told me of such a thing yet I think he told me there was an ice store located in front of the house originally and it was due to that it was named The Store (long since gone). Reachfar was a place in one of the books, fictional, and the house wasn't called that by Jane? Any ideas?
Added by Jane M Scott on 04 May 2010
There is a Jane Duncan Appreciation Page on Facebook.
Added by Margaret Tong on 05 May 2010
Sorry about any confusion I may have caused with the name of Reachfar. When I visited the house last its name was Reachfar but on the back gate there was a sign which read, The Store. Maybe the present owners renamed it?
Added by Jan Robey on 05 May 2010
Thanks Jan and Jane - this will help when I visit Jemimaville next. If the name changed later on after she died it suggests that a fan or someone with interest in the history of the house named it Reachfar as an homage! I found out a lot more about the Colony (the fictitious Reachfar) at the exhibition in Cromarty - it used to be a collection of small crofts populated by many families who shared resources - By the time Jane knew it, her family had taken over the whole piece of land and a new house was built - I plan to try and find it this summer but will need an ordnance survey map I think.

Margaret - I am struggling to find the Jane Duncan page on Facebook - any clues on how to find it as I am quite new to FB and sometimes come unstuck!
Added by June Young on 05 May 2010
The present owners are great fans of Jane Duncan and renamed the house "Reachfar" in appreciation of her stories, however they also retained the original "Old Store" part of the name too. Therefore the full postal address is still "Reachfar, Old Store, Jemimaville".
Added by Jenny on 05 May 2010
Hi June
Last time I visited Jemimaville, I visited the Store or Reachfar and met the present owners. They are indeed fans of Jane Duncan and I can assure you of a warm welcome if you visit them.
Jan
Added by Jan Robey on 06 May 2010
June, if you're logged in on FB you should see the search field in the blue top bar. Type "jane duncan", hit Enter and you're there. If you click on the magnifying glass instead of hitting Enter, you'll land on a page listing several Jane Ducans.
Added by Paul Vinkenoog on 06 May 2010
Thanks everyone for your help - visited Jemimaville yesterday and really enjoyed wandering off the main road down to the shore. Saw Rose Cottage and The Old Store/Reachfar - had a nice chat with the owner. Also found the Facebook page so lets hope lots of people join in this centenary year. We need to get a TV series commissioned!
Added by June Young on 09 May 2010
Hi folks - just to let you know that we've put up details of some Jane Duncan events on the Kirkmichael Trust website at www.kirkmichael.info including the Trust's guided tours to Jemimaville on 25th June and the Colony on 26th June - Jim Mackay, Chair Kirkmichael Trust. Hope to see some of you there!
Added by Jim Mackay on 10 June 2010
Did you know that cromarty had a rival to mcgonagall.
John Mcbean gave me a copy of his small book of poems in 1965, here is his short poem to Jane Duncan's shop and tearoom.
entitlied the Friendly shop.

Take a treasure trail to Cromarty
An ancient town beside the sea
There is a tearoom by the bus stop
Please give a call at the friendly shop

A relic of an oldtime store
you know it by the double door
please do buy our cups of coffee
and don't forget the bags of toffee

those of you who have no cares
just browse around among the wares
of pottery dwawings oils and etchings
of glassware ironworks and sketchings
so buy a book and meet the author
to sign her name it is no bother.

Not exactly poet laureat stuff but Jock has described it perfectly as I remember it
Added by Ian Jack on 11 June 2010
I am so glad there are still people out there enjoying Jane Duncan's books. I discovered them in the 1970's while living in Canada. My sister, unbeknownst to me, was enjoying them in Scotland. When I found she had died, I cried, because that meant no nore books! A television series would be wonderful (or could be if well done) and would start a whole new interest in her work, leading to the books being available again. I borrowed the books from my local public library and have only a few of my own. I am jealous of "full set owners"! Now that I live in Scotland again, one day maybe I will get to visit Jemimaville...
Added by Marilyn Young on 29 March 2011
I live in Queensland Australia and will be in Jemimaville 21st June 2011 as my husband's ancestors come from Front Street, John McGregor or MacGrioghair.
Added by Anne Ramage on 23 April 2011
Have just stumbled on these comments today whilst browsing to buy yet more books written by this "wonderful" (she wouldn't like this description) author and, yes they have become very expensive. Great to see that more people than myself feel that all the books can be read and continually re-read. Now approaching 66 myself I wish to thank her existing family and "friends" on this site for many, many hours of very happy reading. There is a discussion site at Cromarty (the Colony) also very encouraging. Tragic that so much popularity is discovered so often when it seems too late. Still she did come over as a person very content with her lot.

Added by Marie Knotts on 30 May 2011
This is just to let everyone know that Millrace is bringing out a new edition of 'My Friend Monica' later this month. It's in the same format as the new edition of 'My Friends the Miss Boyds', which we published last summer.
Added by Viv Cripps on 07 June 2011
How wpnderful to see a picture of Jemimaville around the time my Father was Born there (James Bremner 12/04/1920). The house he was born in (I am told) was the first one next to the Church on the water front. His Father was James Bremner and Mother Margaret Bremner (M.S. Williamson)
Added by James A Bremner on 18 July 2011
I work at the Fish Hoek Library in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa. We have the whole collection of her books and they are very precious to us. I read them every year and always find some hidden gem that I missed. I am in the process of collecting them for my own pleasure.
Added by Jean Patterson on 05 June 2012
I first read one of Jane Duncan's My Friends books in 1971, and read every one in the series, at least once. I began to collect them in 1976 through an out of print search service until I had found every one - it took me 10 years. I re-read these books often and find something new every time. I am glad to see that so many remember and appreciate her. She is a brilliant story-teller whose dream to write is an inspiration. Thanks for your memories, and directions and insights.
Anonymous comment added on 24 October 2012
I first read the Miss Boyds somewhere in the 1960's...not until I stumbled upon My Friends from Cairnton several years later did I realize there was this treasure of a series! Until I finally became proficient enough on the computer to look her up, I had no idea that she had passed on...all this is fascinating to me, and really it does not seem that she is gone...she lives through her books; her "bit of heaven."
Added by Nancy Hilber on 23 January 2013
I have been reading 'My friends" series of books since 1974. I love the relationships between the members of her family, the dialogue and the whole perspective on life she presents. These are my go-to books when life is difficult. I now have all the books, but not all in hardback. I love them and am sorry I never got a chance to tell her how much they mean to me.
Added by Bonnie Parsons Smith on 24 May 2013
I began reading the "My Friends" books many years ago and periodically reread them. My husband and I visited Jemimavilla, hoping to be able to meet Jane Duncan, but she had recently died. We took time exploring the Black Isle, stopping once because it sounded like something was wrong with our car. As soon as we stopped, we realized it was the sound of hundreds of birds singing. What a wonderful place. Like Bonnie (above), I am sorry I didn't get a chance to tell Jane how much her books have meant to me.
Added by Marilyn Cram-Donahue on 09 June 2013
I am hoping somebody would be able to give me instructions on how to get to the old house.
Added by Richard Jessop on 11 November 2013
This is a wonderful picture - like a page out of one of Jane Duncan's books.
Added by Marilyn Cram Donahue on 28 November 2013
I first read (and loved) most of the 'My Friends' in the 1960s and managed to meet Jane Duncan in 1975 when holidaying on the Black Isle; she signed my copy of 'Letter from Reachfar.' I started reading them again in 2010 onwards and wondered if a publisher could be persuaded to re-print some of them so I was thrilled when I discovered that Millrace were re-printing the Miss Boyds and then Monica, but very disappointed when the response wasn't enough to print more. There seem to be quite a lot of fans like me out there, judging by this website. I bought a few of her books (mainly old library copies) in the 1960s and have recently bought the rest, having to bite the bullet of cost for George and Tom! I look forward to re-reading it. Bet wishes to all the fans out there.
Added by Carol Fry on 21 October 2014
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Jemimaville, Poyntzfield, Balblair and Resolis

Sheds at Newhall - c1901Building a shed at Newhall - c1898Jemimaville Village - 1908