The Life Of A Scilly Sergeant
By Colin Taylor
Published June 2016 by Century/Random House
The subtitle of this book is, appropriately, "Adventures of high tide and low crime", but life on this remarkable group of islands is not entirely crime-free and Sergeant Colin Taylor can expect to be roused at all hours of the day or night to deal with theft, traffic congestion, marital disputes and even the odd explosion. Everybody generally knows everybody else, and the occasional generational clash between relatives can prove to be interesting.
The islands are stunningly lovely, there is plenty going on, despite the relative isolation from the outside world during the winter, and the summer sees a huge influx of visitors who have a bit of a culture shock when they step off the boat into a whole new way of life.
During the winter, there can be long periods when it is impossible for the scheduled sailings to arrive or leave St Mary's, the largest island, so supplies can start to run a little low in the shops and police or legal back-up can be delayed. It may only be 28 miles from Land's End to Scilly, but when everything depends on boats and tides, life can get complicated!
If you have never been to Scilly, this book and its photos will make you want to visit. I have great memories of a day trip to St Mary's many years ago and I really do want to go again now after thoroughly enjoying reading this.
My favourite chapter? The bird in the cell. No spoilers, but it is priceless :-)
Colin Taylor has now sadly finished his stint as a police officer on Scilly, but the book is a delight.