ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: June 8, 2017
Making for Home: A Tale of the Scottish Borders
By (author) Alan Tait; By (photographer) Andrea Jones
As a child living in a bleak coastal village on the Solway Firth during World War 2, Alan Tait’s Dr Barnardo’s papier mache collection box, with its thatched roof and chimney, represented a different world, a bright and safe one, and inspired him to imagine the homes that might lie in his future, and to invent the rooms he might inhabit. From such simple beginnings grew a lifelong obsession with houses and collecting. In Making for Home, Alan Tait traces his journey from childhood imaginings to a tenement flat in Glasgow in the 1960s to the Moffat Valley, in the Scottish Borders, where he bought a remote farmhouse in the 1970s, since when he has overseen its restoration and renewal during four decades of continuing change. Making for Home is at once a memoir, a meditation on the nature of buildings and home and a history of this unique place, from earliest times, through the hunting of the Convenanters in the 1680s and the agricultural revolution, to the arrival of the Forestry Commission, which changed the landscape of the Valley forever, and beyond. The result is a lament, but not a dirge – for the valley will always move on and give shelter to men and animals.
Alan Tait is an art historian with a particular interest in the history of landscape. He is the author of The Landscape Garden in Scotland 1735-1835 (Edinburgh University Press, 1984) and A Garden in the Hills (2008, Frances Lincoln). For the last forty years he has lived in the Moffat Water valley in the Borders where he farms and gardens with enthusiasm. Andrea Jones’s passion for photography and nature has led her around the world documenting landscapes, gardens and plants. She has exhibited in both the UK and USA and won multiple awards including GMG Book Photographer of the Year (2014) and Garden Photographer of the Year (2008). She lives in Ayrshire, Scotland.