WHAT he thought was just a way of celebrating the history of his home town has helped Eyemouth man Jack Willox raise £1000 for charity.
Jack’s book ‘Dear Auld Hiemooth Toon’ went on sale last year and proved to be an instant favourite with both locals and people from further afield.
And after over 360 copies went flying off the shelves, Jack was pleased to recently be able to hand over cheques for £500 to both Eyemouth RNLI and Eyemouth Pipe Band.
“I’m been overwhelmed will how well it’s gone down,” he said.
“It’s sold exceptionally well and exceeded all of my expectations.
“Because I wasn’t sure how it would do I originally only ordered 200 copies to be printed but they quickly flew off the shelves. I ordered another 100 and they also sold quickly as did the next 100 so I’m now onto the next 100
“I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to all those people who have contributed towards the success of the book.
“It is apparent that, as usually is the case with things connected with Eyemouth and district, local people have given it 100% support.”
And the fact that ‘Dear Auld Hiemooth Toon’ has been such a best-seller has ensured that Jack’s celebrity status has sky rocketed in Eyemouth with everyone wanting to congratulate him on his successful venture.
“For quite some time I couldn’t go down the street without everyone wanting to stop me and have a chat about the book!”
“But I’m pleased that everyone has taken the time to reads the stories and poems from local people, many of whom are no longer with us or have moved away.
“It was great that one of the authors, James Dickson, a retired skiffer, was able to come to the cheque presentation as I’m sure it was a really nice moment for him.”
And understandably everyone connected with the Lifeboat and the Pipe Band were overjoyed at the funds Jack handed over.
“I think everyone was really pleased with what I managed to raise,” he continued.
“Unfortunately due to a mix up some of the crew couldn’t be there for the presentation as they were on training but I was glad a few of them could make it along.
“James Tarvitt, Operations Manager, said he felt it was important that things written in the town in years gone by were preserved and that was ultimately my reason for compiling the book in the first place.
“The money I’ve given to the Lifeboat and Pipe Band should certainly help them a bit and let’s face it groups like them welcome any kind of financial support in this day and age.”
Jack said he wanted to thank Fay and Marion at the Post Office shop for selling the book and also singled out another person for special mention, Tony Howard of Lowgate Publishing, North Berwick, who helped to get the ball rolling with ‘Dear Auld Hiemooth Toon.’
“The idea to compile a book had lay with me for some time and it took quite a while to collect the different things to go in it,” Jack explained.
“Once I’d got everything together a friend of mine happened to be speaking to Tony and he showed a real interest in helping me out with the layout of the book.
“I didn’t have the wherewithall to do it on my computer and he was a massive help. When it was finished he also advertised the book for free in his monthly journal.
“The journal includes a quiz and he set one of the questions as ‘What can you do to help Eyemouth Pipe Band’, the answer being that people could buy a copy of ‘Dear Auld Hiemooth Toon’.”
With the book going down a storm in Eyemouth, talk has turned to the subject of whether a sequel is in the offing and Jack said, with people already approaching him with more material, it could well be on the cards.
“If I do another book I’d like people to come up with suggestions on the types of things they’d like to see included.
“‘Dear Auld Hiemooth Toon’ featured a lot of poems about the fishing industry in Eyemouth but I’d be keen to hear more about the rural side of things; I’m sure there must be plenty of stories to tell.
“I’ve already had a few people approach me with poems. I got a phone call last week from a man named David Windram who said I’d used one of his poems in my book.
“I didn’t know it was his so wasn’t able to put a name to it but he said he didn’t object to me using it and has suggested some other pieces I could use in the future.
“Henry Blaikie, a retired policeman has written one about the famous ‘Eyemouth Pong’ but some of the poems I’ve had in will have to be doctored- as some of the words aren’t printable!”