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Ross firm collars Greyfriars Bobby web - North Star

Posted by Calico UK - 10:00 on 09 March 2006

Photo from North Star News Article

Calico UK directors Lisa MacKay (left), Kirsty Pryer (front right) and Karen MacKay pictured at work on the Eleanor Atkinson website in their Cromarty based office. Inset: Scene from Greyfriars Bobby. Picture: Derek Gordon.

A BLACK Isle company has played a key role in bringing the famous story of faithful Skye terrier Greyfriars Bobby to a worldwide audience.

Calico UK, based in High Street, Cromarty, has acted as the host for a new website dedicated to Eleanor Atkinson, the American author of the famous tale of Greyfriars Bobby, which is now the subject of a new feature film starring Christopher Lee and James Cosmo.

Calico, an internet service provider which was set up in 1994, organised the technical aspects of establishing the new site, setting up host web and email servers and keeping the system online 24 hours a day.

Kirsty Pryer, one of Calico UK’s four directors, said: “I think the developers of the website were looking for a Scottish-based provider and we fitted the bill.

“We have a lot of customers who deal with us because they see us as a local business, and because online you can deal with anyone whether it be in the UK or overseas.”

The website was launched at a ceremony in Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh on Tuesday (March 7) and is aimed at raising awareness of the woman who penned the tale of the faithful terrier who kept vigil over his master’s grave for 14 years.

However, Kirsty said: “I’m really disappointed because although I was invited to the launch, I couldn’t make it and Greyfriars Bobby was always one of my favourite books as a child.”

Calico UK’s three other directors are Karen Mackay, Lisa Mackay and Campbell McCracken, who all live in Cromarty.

Inez Visser, a lecturer at the Adam Smith College in Fife who developed the new website, said: “I chose Calico because I wanted to support a local community business in Scotland rather than one of the big corporates. Calico has been a no-hassle web host and very helpful.

“This is a great time to be launching the website as there is so much debate about the story with the launch of the new film.

“I think Eleanor could become a lifetime of research for me and, were I an author, I would write her biography as she led such an interesting life.”

Eleanor Atkinson’s tale of Greyfriars Bobby was first published in 1912 and the book is still in print in the UK today. Although the author of several books, Eleanor led a secret double life. As an undercover reporter for the Chicago Tribune, she adopted disguises to live among the poor of the city and reveal the squalor and servitude suffered by women in particular.

The new website dedicated to her life is at:

By Jackie MacKenzie.

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