Local Roots

An Island of Calm

Costume Collection RMS


This model chap is one of the inhabitants of Shambellie House in New Abbey, where the Museums of Scotland display their costume collection. I came across him in this outfit, with this reading material, when I was visiting Shambellie during the days around Theatre Broad’s performance of M’Connachie &JMB in Dumfries.

Shambellie is one of my favourite places in the world: a great David Bryce house, lovely garden and peaceful setting on the edge of  Borders village of New Abbey, with its ruins – Sweetheart Abbey. What more could you want?

I was overwhelmed to discover the house was delivering more, when I leant as far over the barrier as I could to take this photograph.

Discerning Barrie fans will see that the book our man is reading is MARGARET OGILVY, Barrie’s memoir of his mother.

Memoir by JMB

A shared moment for those in the know.

With its truly toe-curling adulation of a person who did an enormous amount of the shaping of Barrie’s life, it can’t be called his most admirable work. It does, however, demonstrate the searing honesty he brought to a lot of his output. With The Twelve Pound Look, it gives unparallelled insight to his psyche.

When Barrie is your subject, the material is everywhere. This did give me a tiny shiver, I must confess. I’ll be back to Shambellie of course. Apart from anything, the museum cafe is a great place to round off your visit.