Author pens third novel at age of 88

AN author from Craigmillar has published her third book, at the age of 88.

Helen Crummy's Whom Dykes Divide is a historical novel tracing the lives of two Newcraighall and Niddrie mining families.

The book is dedicated to Helen's heroine, Agnes Moffat, a ten-year-old coal bearer.

Miss Moffat's testimony to the Wilberforce Commission helped ensure that, after 1842, no more children as young as ten should ever work down a mine again in the UK.

Moffat Way, which is now home to the area's new primary school campus, is named after the local girl.

After many years of painstaking research, Mrs Crummy has published Whom Dykes Divide, exploring and highlighting the extreme poverty and the appalling working conditions of collier families.

Born in Leith, she became one of the first residents of Craigmillar when her family moved to Harewood Drive in 1931 when she was aged ten.

Helen Crummy has devoted her life to changing the face of Craigmillar, believing firmly that "poverty is as much about a lack of opportunities as a lack of money", and founded the Craigmillar Festival Society in 1964.

In 1972, Mrs Crummy was made an MBE and was given an honorary degree by Heriot-Watt University in 1993.

Mrs Crummy self-published her first book, Let the People Sing!, in 1992

and she launched Whom Dykes Divide at Castleview Primary School last month.