Since moving to Bude, Johanna Jackson has come to know many of the local people, but it was several conversations with Mike Smith, owner of Bude’s Crescent Post Office & Stores, that gave Johanna the idea of including a link to local families in the storyline of her latest book.
Mike had explained to Johanna how his Grandfather, Frank Smith, had spent time in America working for The Ford Motor Company. Frank’s plans were forcibly changed during the great depression, which resulted in him returning to England to work with the RAF. Mike also shared with Johanna how the family of Archie Jewell still live adjacent to Mike’s store.
Locals may remember that Archie was one of the look-outs on Titanic. Archie’s shift had ended when the magnificent ship hit an iceberg and so he was below deck at the time of impact, but thankfully, he was also one of the survivors. Archie’s story appealed to Johanna, who has always been intrigued by Titanic and so, a seed was sown that Titanic would also be included in the storyline.
Amelie’s Journey had already begun to take shape with Johanna’s main character living in early 1900s Bude and with Mike Smith’s permission, Johanna decided to incorporate a very loose link to part of Frank Smith’s life. With Bude, Titanic, America, The New York Times, Ford Motor Company and both World Wars captured in the storyline, Johanna has covered an eventful period of time in our history.
Proud of the fact that Amelie’s Journey was inspired by Frank Smith’s story, signed copies of Johanna’s book are now available on sale in the very shop that Frank Smith first began, back in the 1930s. The Crescent Post Office and Stores has remained in the Smith family ever since and is run today, by Mike’s own son, Joe, who is following in the family tradition. So, do pop along and pick-up your copy of Amelie’s Journey as you chat to Mike and Joe about their family history.
For those of you who do not live in Bude, but would love to read Amelie’s Journey, you can find it online with all the usual UK and international book-sellers, or via https://www.johannajackson.co.uk