From the ages of 5 to 15, Jess Smith lived with her parents, sisters and a mongrel dog in an old, blue Bedford bus. They travelled the length and breadth of Scotland, and much of England too, stopping here and there until they were moved on by the local authorities or driven by their own instinctive need to travel. By campfires, under the unchanging stars they brewed up tea, telling stories and singing songs late into the night. "Jessie's Journey" describes what it was like to be one of the last of the traditional travelling folk. It is not an idyllic tale, but despite the threat of bigoted abuse and scattered schooling, humour and laughter run throughout a childhood teeming with unforgettable characters and incidents.
JESS SMITH lives near Crieff. She is married and has three children and six grandchildren. As a traditional storyteller she is in great demand for performances throughout Scotland, and has been invited to speak at conference of Aboriginal storytellers in Australia this year.