ONE of Dollar's most noted poets was James Christie, a former teacher in the town.

In December, 1902, a collection of his poems published was posthumously thanks to the instigation of the Dollar Burns Club.

Richard Malcolm, one time Provost of Dollar and fellow teacher, was a close friend of Christie and wrote the preface for the book. He also acted as editor to the work.

Many of Christie's poems appeared in the Alloa Advertiser and in other newspapers and magazines.

His friends in Dollar tried to persuade him to publish his works in a single volume, and often asked him to do so, but he was a shy man with regards to his poetry, and no matter how hard they tried, his friends failed to get him to publish a book of his work during his lifetime.

However, after his death, his works were all brought together and resulted in Poems by James Christie.

Some of these poems had already been published in the book Poets of Clackmannanshire in 1885.

Christie had been a Master in the Junior School at Dollar Academy, which at the time was known as the Dollar Institution.

He was well liked and described as kind, genial and gentle with a real flair for poetry. The imagery contained in his works was widely accepted as being exceptional.

Christie was also said to be a great storyteller and he captivated his audience when telling the stories.

His works were mainly on nature and love, written in the Scots language, much in the way Burns had written over a hundred years before.

His wish was to be a 'worshipper at Nature's shrine, And drink delight in thee'.

He wrote of woods, birds, animals, and rivers, inspired by his surroundings in Dollar and beyond. He also wrote curling songs 'full of robust sentiment and enthusiasm'.

His poems included Jeannie o' Blairhill, The Flower of Devon Ha', A Tiny Twitter, and The Shepherd to his Collie Dog, with some of his works containing 'pawky humour.'

Yet it was the way he described nature that stood out most. He captured the beauty of the land and the changing of the seasons, 'carrying on the traditions of Burns'.

Following publication, the book was warmly received, especially in Dollar.

His former pupils spoke highly of him and believed the book was a fitting memorial to the man who had had such a deep effect on them during their time at the Dollar school.