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Welcome to the Scottish Islands Explorer


Scottish Islands Explorer magazine was founded by Linda Grieve and her partner, Philip Welch, on Fair Isle, in the Shetland group of islands, in January 2000. It was at first a pamphlet in mono, with eight pages, and was essentially text-based rather than image-rich. By November 2002 it was produced in full colour and soon became a 52-page publication.

Four years later there was a change to glossy covers and early in 2007 the publication was purchased by the late Jeremy Smith, from Sussex. His background was in publishing and he introduced many changes to the design and presentation of the magazine. Early in 2010 he first used the professional design services of Deborah Bryce, who is based on the island of Jura.

Jeremy suddenly and unexpectedly died of bronchial pneumonia on Monday 8 February 2010. His company that published the title, Silver Sea Press Ltd, was wound up by the Executor of his Estate. A new company, Ravenspoint Press Ltd, was then set up by a freelance journalist, John Humphries (pictured right), who had assisted him and who has been a contributor to the magazine since 2003.

The magazine is edited in Suffolk, designed on Jura, printed in Derbyshire, distributed from Lincolnshire, has a back-office at Laxay in the Isle of Lewis and a circulation manager who lives in West Yorkshire.


John Humphries, Ravenspoint Press Ltd

Obituary of Jeremy Smith
The late Proprietor and Editor of Scottish Islands Explorer Magazine
and Editor with Hachette Children's Books

Jeremy Peter Smith (35) died unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep at his home in Stonegate, West Sussex, on Monday 8 February. He was the proprietor of Silver Sea Press and editor of its magazine, Scottish Islands Explorer. The publication had been started on Fair Isle in January 2000 and he purchased the title in December 2006.

He grew up near Bognor Regis, attended Felpham Community College and gained First Class Honours in History at University College London. Musical talents, which he shared with his twin-sister, Rachael, were evident from early childhood. He played the violin in the National Children’s Orchestra and also gained top distinctions for both piano and saxophone.

Another childhood passion involved rocks and minerals and this developed into a love of the countryside. However, after graduation he was drawn to publishing and eventually joined the Tunbridge Wells based Tick Tock Books Ltd. Here his skills as a writer and editor became evident with responsibility for numerous publications connected with the children’s highly-illustrated, non-fiction market.

He was promoted to Managing Editor at Tick Tock, but missed the demands and creativity of writing. In June 2006 he joined Franklin Watts, the imprint of Hachette Children’s Books, as an editor working at their offices in the Euston Road, London. This led to his resourcing and commissioning over a hundred titles spread over a number of series.

Jeremy and his wife, Jo, enjoyed the Scottish islands and chose to marry on Rousay in Orkney. An intention was to move to Jura in the Inner Hebrides, where they acquired a plot of land and where eventually Scottish Islands Explorer could have been based. The publication, a 52-page full-colour bi-monthly, grew in circulation for he had, as with his numerous books, an eye for what appealed.

Although a team-player at work, he was not a person to promote either himself or his achievements. His senses of humour and perspective often involved keeping others guessing. The profound sense of shock and sorrow about his early death was accompanied by a feeling of astonishment as to what he had achieved during a short lifetime. He leaves a wife, both parents and three sisters.

Jeremy Smith 12 September 1974 - 8 February 2010

Jeremy Smith

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