When in doubt, always shut your head and… observe! Take my word for it, you are not wasting your time. They say in our country ‘Keep a thing seven years and you will find a use for it.’
But I say, ‘Remember a thing… exactly, mind you… thirty or forty years and you will find a place expressly hollowed out for it, where it will grow and branch out and seed like a potted plant
Credited with creating the first tourist boom in Galloway, this son of the Glenkens attained worldwide celebrity in his lifetime. After his death he was still fondly remembered locally though as time passed he became less well known further afield.
On the centenary of his death in April 2014 he was dubbed ‘Scotland’s Forgotten Bestseller’ and the Galloway Raiders was formed to advocate and promote his life and works for a new generation. If Galloway is Scotland's forgotten corner, then surely Crockett is Galloway's forgotten hero. The scope for literary tourism offered by Crockett's writing has not diminished over the years, but he remains little known as a tourism asset. The Galloway Raiders have developed several literary tours over the past decade including tourism trails which can be followed by car, bike or foot. In 2019 a major project was undertaken placing Crockett's words back into their landscapes, with 160 quote slates let loose into the countryside under the banner #GoCrocketteering. There are also videos available on the Galloway Raiders YouTube Channel.
While he wrote novels set across Europe, closer to home, Crockett is truly the writer of the places and people of Galloway’s past. Equally his European adventure stories give a picture of life for the rural working folk of France, Spain, Italy and beyond. Underneath his beautiful and accurate natural description there is scathing commentary on the hypocrisy of hierarchy, which may be partly responsible for his exclusion from the literary canons.
There are many connections between Crockett and the Galloway landscape, history and indeed his literary and historic contemporaries. Many of these are explored at the Crockett archive site and through Cally Phillips' works Discovering Crockett's Galloway. There are many 'little known facts' about Crockett. For example, did you know that Crockett wrote the first car chase in fiction in ‘Vida’, or that his dog Quharrie most likely inspired Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. This is the tip of the iceberg of Crockett's influence and legacy, which is there ready for the discovery - if history, adventure and romance are your interests!
‘All authors have just one hero, that is the self they would have liked to be, the gallant boy they were not.’
HOME OF THE SAMUEL RUTHERFORD CROCKETT LITERARY SOCIETY
Honorary President: Richard D. Jackson. Founder: Cally Phillips.