Local News

Seeking Edward Cummins?

The Orkney News has been contacted by photographer Phil Moody who lives in the USA.

He is looking for an Edward Cummins (or similar name). Phil took a photograph of this man way back in 1983 in Tweedmouth Docks, Berwick. Edward was a seafarer (perhaps a skipper) .

Anyway, Phil intended to send a copy of the photograph he took of Edward and he never did – but he would like to now.

If you know of Edward Cummins who possibly lived in Evie contact us here at the Orkney News and we can pass this information on.

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4 replies »

  1. I remember Eddie unfortunately he died a few years ago. He worked art various jobs, he also published a book of poems.

  2. Firstly – I sent this to the ‘Orcadian’ in 2010….

    **************************************************************

    “Dear Editor
    I don’t know if you’d like to print this as a letter, or as a small article, as a book review perhaps? That is, if you want to print it at all! It speaks for itself.
    Cheers
    Bernie Bell

    Eddie Cummins – God love him!

    I’m reading ‘I Flame At Words’, the book of Eddie Cummins’ poetry, and, what can I say? He speaks to us, he’s one of us, his words, flame at us, burning away the fakery of our lives. He’s one of those who are disregarded, until they die, than, suddenly, they shine, people like to say they knew them. In life, too difficult, too un-compromising, seeing too clearly, through a glass, darkly. In death, a poet, a writer, a painter, a “genius”, all of a sudden. But, not so, it was always there, but, people like people, who pull the right faces and make the right noises. It looks like Eddie “loud in his size, strength and smell”, was too much for many, and they were too much for him, ultimately. But look what he produced; ‘Torre de Belem’, ‘Which World is Really There?’, ‘Solitude’, ‘The Simmer Dim’, and on, and on, and on. Read them, and see.
    I never met him, I’ve been told I would have “got on with him”, would I? I don’t know, I reckon we would have rowed a lot, but that would be, because, we could, row, that is, without a mis-understanding of what ‘rowing’ is. But this isn’t about me, it’s about Eddie Cummins, with eyes that no-one could ignore, no-one with eyes to see, that is.
    The impression I get, is of a man who saw too clearly, felt too keenly, and expressed this well, and, because he expressed so well, he can now speak to us, who are also trying to deal with the world. He didn’t deal with it too well himself, but it still helps to meet some-one who’s seeing it, feeling it, even if the meeting is after they’ve ‘gone’. It helps a lot. For me, he’s in there, in power of perception, with Gerard Manly Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, Ted Hughes, John Clare. If he could have been in there with W.B. Yeats, Robert Graves and Walt Whitman, he might have been a happier man. They saw it, but could deal with it, he may have been happier, but he wouldn’t have been Eddie Cummins, big, mad, drunken poet.
    Thanks, to his good friends Jim & Sheila Scott, for putting the collection together. Thanks, to Eddie himself, from me, and from all the people who will read his work and say “There’s one….”, and feel that Eddie’s by them, telling them not to let the bastards get them down. If only he could have taken that to heart himself, but then, he wouldn’t have been Eddie Cummins, and so it goes on.
    And, he was a looker, too! Would it have pleased him to hear that? with his deep, though slightly puzzled, love of women?
    Eddie Cummins, religious or not, God Love You, you’ll help a lot of people.

    Bernie Bell
    30 July 2010”

    Then, this to someone in 2018….….

    “I was thinking about Eddie Cummins yesterday. He was an Orkney poet, contemporary with GMB , Sylvia Wishart and Co. He drank too much and died. Then his friends published his poetry, and he is now more recognized. Scant consolation to Eddie, you might say, but….he was how he was, if he’d not been Eddie, he wouldn’t have written as he did, and what he wrote has helped others to deal with the issues which troubled him. Though his poetry isn’t all about his mind-troubles – it’s about the joy of life. The book of his poetry is called ‘I Flame At Words’ – ‘Nuff said. “

    And, in this….. https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/12/05/theres-always-an-orkney-connection/

    It’s good to see someone mentioning Eddie – I would like to see the photo – what a man – what a poet.

  3. PS…

    I got carried away thinking about Eddie, then realised that details of the book might be more to the point….

    Published by Dr James Scott, Kirkgate, Rousay, Orkney KW17 2PS. Tel. 01856 821421

    These details are in the book – so presumably are OK to publish.

    I can’t find an ISBN number for it.

    The other thing which might be of interest, which I found in my copy, is a book review of ‘I Flame at Words’ by Pam Besant from the Orcadian of Thursday 4th March 2010 – that might still be available from the paper?

    I hope you can get a copy of the book – it’s …….