New Illustrated book “I Love St Andrews” celebrates everything there is to love about the town.
Article by Gillian Gamble
Many beautiful and interesting books have been written about St Andrews, covering everything from golf to student life, history to modernity, scandal, politics and even famous felines. Over the years, I have bought and cherished almost all of them. As a child visiting St Andrews regularly from nearby Dundee, the photographic portrait of the town produced by Lorn McIntyre and Peter Adamson helped me decide on St Andrews for my university years, because it impressed upon me the beauty of the place and the richness of the local community.
In more recent times, ‘The Beginning and the End of the Worlds: St Andrews, Scandal and the birth of Photography’ by Robert Crawford has been one of my firm favourites. As both of a student of Robert Crawford, and later a professional photographer, I loved reading this book about how St Andrews became the first town in the world to be extensively documented in photographs. I also smiled as I read about the many ‘larger than life’ characters that have walked our cobbled streets over the years.
As a graduate, my husband (a fellow graduate) and I opted to stay in St Andrews and start a family. It has been such a joy to experience St Andrews all over again through the eyes of my little girl. I have found myself reflecting on all the wonderful things that St Andrews has to offer. I remembered enjoyable summers on the beach as a child, the mystery of the cathedral, the delicious ice-creams and strolls in the Lade Braes. I wistfully reflected on my student years, the life-long friendships that were forged there, the quirky traditions unique to us, such as Raisin weekend and May Dip. I regularly cherish small interactions with all the friends I have made here, and now feel secretly smug about knowing lots of ‘inside information’ about all the hidden gems in the town. For example, did you know the small yellow town bus that circles St Andrews during the day is probably one of the friendliest places in town? I also noticed a space on the ‘St Andrews’ book shelf for something colourful and whimsical that captures the spirit of the town in a light-hearted and observational way.
Therefore, inspired by Robert Crawford, and by those who first documented the town in photographic images, I set out to compile a book that documented everything there is to know and love about St Andrews in a nice hardback illustrated volume, and was so happy that ‘Visit St Andrews’ were willing to let me use the title ‘I LOVE ST ANDREWS‘ as it fits so perfectly. I was thrilled that award-winning poet and St Andrews alumna Carly Brown agreed to write a long poem to tie the illustrations together and give the book a read-aloud quality. Our book contains lots of iconic things you will be familiar with, but it also contains all the little things that you need to truly know and love St Andrews to appreciate. We have covered all four seasons, hundreds of years of history, and hopefully thrown in a dose of wit and humour. We hope this book will stir up a genuine love for St Andrews and become a firm favourite for adults and children alike!
Finally, as a little ‘thank you’ from me to a town that has given me so much, 10% of the profits from this book will be donated to local charities.
‘I LOVE ST ANDREWS’ by Carly Brown and Gillian Gamble is a 64-page, full colour hardback illustrated book. Published by Cartographie Press, it will be in local stores in March 2015. However, customers can pre-order for just £10 before St Andrews Day (30th November) by visiting www.ilovestandrews.net. Worldwide shipping available.
Gillian Gamble is an artist and social entrepreneur. She grew up in Dundee and regularly spent summers on West Sands. She graduated from the University of St Andrews in 2011, where she met and got married to a PhD student, Stephen Gamble, and their daughter Maria was born here. Gillian is a published children’s book illustrator, and professional photographer. Her work was recently featured by BBC 2 and some her photos can be found on the website of Italian Vogue. She has also worked extensively with various local charities and founded ‘Our Story’, a pop-up community cafe in the town.