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number 6 . September/October 2015. the ONE issue


ayrshire magazine Quality & Style In Ayrshire

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Vegetation Management Industrial Rope Access Geotechnical Services Minor Works Earthworks Fencing Installation Drainage & CCTV Services Civil Engineering RRV Plant Hire Training




number 6

number 6 . September/October 2015. the ONE issue


ayrshire magazine Quality & Style In Ayrshire

an opportunity for life

Open Evening Tuesday 6 October 6-7:30pm

Open Afternoon Wednesday 7 October 2-4pm

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ayrshire magazine is Ayrshire’s first quality style magazine, promoting everything that is positive in your local area. COVER CREDITS Photographer: Margaret Smith Models: Bronwyn Mackay Stylist: Alexandria Toner Hair: Rachael Macdonald Rainbow Rooms International Ayr MUA: Kelly Cripps Location: Loudon Castle Special thanks to Henk

See for yourself how your child could benefit from the friendly, caring, family atmosphere and small class sizes No appointment necessary, but for further details phone 01292 269321 or contact Independent Co-educational School in Ayr, 3-18 Purposeful atmosphere, strong ethos, excellent academic record theayrshiremag ayrshiremagazine ayrshiremagazine



Hello Life moves at a phenomenal pace. We all run around at a frantic speed trying to get the next task done. Before we know it, things that happened years ago feel like it was just a couple of months ago. Stopping on our tracks and reflecting on what we’ve done up until this very day, is a hard thing to do. Very rarely do we celebrate something, I think the last time I stopped and celebrated the moment was when I obtained my legal traineeship and becoming a father in the same week. Well today i’m stopping and reflecting on what a small group of individuals have done, and i’m definitely celebrating. Ayrshire Magazine is officially ONE year old……..pass me the cake What a fantastic year it has been and what a unique place I now find myself in. I’ve managed to get all the way around Ayrshire and meet so many brilliant individuals that I would never have met had there not been an Ayrshire Magazine. This journey has taught me lots about where I was born, what I am part of, the history and people who make it. This is a celebration to you the lovely people of Ayrshire. Andrew

Adini | B.young | Casamia | Decollage | Epilogue | Fever | Joe Browns | Peppercorn | Smash

125 Main Street | Prestwick | KA9 1LA | 01292 677991 Quality & Style In Ayrshire 5




One Article 12 David Coulter


Your Community


Ayrshire Pets 24 Elaine Smith 26 Events 30 Art 37 Natasha Radmehr


Billy Kirkwood



Big Country 50 Chloe Marie 54 Talent Spotter 58 Fashion 60 Beauty 66 Weddings 72



Travel 78 Food 81 Cars 87 Sports 95


Business 101 Ayrshire Mums


Nightlife 110 Forever Homes

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Working For Irvine Together Growing the Community Your Way


ayrshire magazine


Editor: Andrew Attard E - Creative Director: Keri Attard E - Fashion & Beauty: Kelly Cripps E - Sales: E - Editorials: Sergio Burns Billy Kirkwood Kelly Cripps Natasha Radmehr Adrian ‘Lionheart’ McCallum Scott Brown Kabe Design Scott Johnstone Laura Campbell Ann McKinnon Steven Smith Alice Mitchell Simon McCrindle Little Fire Jordan Lucas Alice Mitchell

Photography: Maggie Smith Regina Wylie Kevin Wylie

David Dickie

Scott Johnstone


Munky Photography

Danny Paton

Andy Sokell



All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. All prices and credits are accurate at time of going to press but are subject to change. All advertising is accepted by ourselves in good faith. The publisher is not responsible for the accuracy in any of the adverts. The publisher cannot accept any liability for any errors or omissions that may have appeared in this publication. Any views expressed by the advertiser may not be the views of the publisher. Now the boring stuff is out the way and we still have your attention why don’t you take a selfie when you are on your holidays and tag it to our Facebook page. The first ten entries will get some sweet treats brought round to their place of work.

Please share your copy of Ayrshire Magazine and recycle it when you are done, or you could make some paper aeroplanes.. its up to you really .

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STORYTELLING SUNDAY SUNDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER 1PM – 4PM DEAN CASTLE & COUNTRY PARK FREE Let your imagination go wild as you take part in a fun storytelling journey around the Country Park.

THE CAVERN BEATLES TUE 15TH SEPT 7.30PM £18.50 GAIETY THEATRE, AYR Fully endorsed and licensed by the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool, The Cavern Beatles bring to the stage the music that has influenced 3 generations. The band’s members, as well as being talented instrumentalists and singers, are hugely dedicated Beatle fans intent on recreating their individual character to an unprecedented standard.

Ladies Lunch Club Wednesday 16th September 12noon for 1pm Western House Hotel You are invited to join the monthly ladies lunch club where you will always receive a warm and friendly welcome. The club provides a wonderful opportunity to make new friends, listen to entertaining guest speakers and enjoy a beautiful lunch while raising money for your local hospice. With £10 annual membership and £15 for lunch per month, the club meets every third Wednesday of the month, 12 noon for 1pm (September to June) at the Western House Hotel in Ayr. To join or for more information, please contact Lyn on 01292 288488



Join us for a day at the races. You will be welcomed with a sparkling wine reception. Then sit back and enjoy a 4 course lunch whilst picking your winners from the racecard. Watch the races from the private viewing terrace, then celebrate with afternoon tea. A great way to spend the day raising money for the Ayrshire Hospice. Priced at £110 per person, this includes your club badge, racecard, sparkling wine reception, 4 course lunch and afternoon tea. To book your tickets contact Graeme on 01292 288488

Meet and Greet with XFactor star Nicholas McDonald. Meet and Greet tickets are available to all ages however if you want to come along and watch Nicholas perform at The Fish Supper Ceilidh you must be over 18, ID will be checked on arrival.

ATOM TREE 18TH SEPTEMBER HARBOUR ARTS CENTRE, IRVINE 7:30 £5 Atom Tree are an ambient Electronica act that are pushing the boundaries of contemporary music. Rising quickly in popularity, this chance to see them at the Harbour Arts Centre might be the only time you get to see them in such in intimate setting for a long time. SINGING WORKSHOP WITH KATY COOPER ARDROSSAN CIVIC CENTRE, ARDROSSAN 19TH SEP 2015 10.30AM - 4PM £12.50 Scotland Sings is running harmonysinging workshops across Scotland in September, working with some of the top singing leaders in the country, including one in Ardrossan on Saturday 19th September led by Katy Cooper. You don’t have to be in a choir to join in, there are no auditions and you don’t have to be able to read music. Just come along on the day with energy and enthusiasm and you’ll go home having met new people and learned some new songs.

FUR COAT AND MAGIC KNICKERS GAIETY THEATRE AND ARTS CENTRE, CARRICK STREET, AYR SEP 22, 7.30PM £12.50PP This comedy drama follows the story of three unique women. OAP Maggie, a compulsive shopaholic with the need to buy, Personal Shopper Jenny who only wants to sell, and Rose, who is gearing up for a hot date. The twist, these characters are all played by one person! OCTOBER RACEDAY AYR RACECOURSE, WHITLETTS ROAD, AYR MON 26TH OCT 11.10AM Come down on the first day of the new jumps season promises to be a fantastic afternoon so get down to see the national hunt stars embark on a new season. THE WIZARD OF OZ GAIETY THEATRE AND ARTS CENTRE, CARRICK STREET, AYR SAT 26 & SUN 27 SEPT AT 2PM & 7PM £14.00 / £13 (CHILDREN UNDER 12) After their success with Bugsy Malone last year, , Hipshot Youth Theatre are back with their adaptation of the world famous story of The Wizard of Oz. Featuring music from the classic MGM film. Follow Dorothy as she embarks on her adventure over the rainbow to the magical world of Oz. Fun for the full family.

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THE FOXBAR HOTEL 62-64 LONDON ROAD, KA3 7DD KILMARNOCK SAT 26TH SEPTEMBER 9PM TILL 2AM Bob Jefferies, Terry Jones and Paul Stuart are back at the Foxbar Hotel to bring you a wonderful night of soul, soulful house and dance floor jazz. AYRSHIRE HOSPICE AUTUMN BALL FRIDAY 2ND OCTOBER 7PM SEAMILL HYDRO After the great success of our 2014 ball, plans are underway for our Autumn Ball for 2015 at Seamill Hydro. If you do not want to miss out on this fabulous night, call now to book your tickets. GO PURPLE FOR AYRSHIRE HOSPICE FRIDAY 9TH OCTOBER Last year Go Purple raised over £15,400 thanks to the groups and organisations across Ayrshire that took part. Some held “wear it purple” days, wore purple wigs, held purple ice cream making contests and enjoyed purple themed afternoon teas! We would love it if you, your workplace or school could take part in Go Purple this year. We want to build as much momentum as possible and would like to invite you to post Go Purple selfies leading up to the event and on the day. You can post pictures on our Facebook page @ AyrshireHospice, use #gopurple2015 on Twitter or email photos to community@ PETER PAN SATURDAY 17TH OCTOBER PALACE THEATRE, KILMARNOCK £10/£8/£32 FOR FAMILY OF 4 A spectacular musical adaptation of the timeless tale about the boy who never grows up. Let your imagination take you to Neverland with Peter and Wendy meeting Lost Boys, Indians and the villainous Captain Hook - not forgetting his silly sidekick Smee! Why not add to the fun and dress as your favourite character? There will be special prize for the best dressed and everyone will have the chance to meet

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GLOW 2015 DAM PARK, CONTENT AVENUE, AYR SAT 17TH OCT 7PM £10 Much like the wonderful full moon parties that are held in Thailand, Glow is a nighttime fun run with a twist. You’ll run, walk or dance the 3km route in which you’ll be sprayed with glow water and lit up by a UV backlight as you go! THE BEST OF BIG COUNTRY TOUR SATURDAY 24TH OCTOBER PALCE THEATRE KILMARNOCK £22.50 Following the incredible success of their 30th anniversary ‘Steeltown’ tour, BIG COUNTRY set off again to celebrate their stunning catalogue of songs, taken from their number 1 and multi-million selling hit albums. The band will perform classic hits and live favourites including Harvest, Home, Fields of Fire, In A Big Country, Chance, Wonderland, Look BBC SCOTTISH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AYR TOWN HALL FRIDAY 30 OCTOBER 7.30PM Playing several pieces: Ginastera: Variaciones Concertantes J S Bach: Concerto for two Violins in D minor, BMV 1043 Schumann: Symphony No. 4 Martyn Brabbins is conducting. This concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Suite Soul September Party HALLOWEEN WITH HOLLYWOOD SAT 31ST OCTOBER HURLFORD BOWLING CLUB, 8 MAIN RD, KILMARNOCK 8:30 TILL 12:30 Come down to the Hurlford bowling club for a fantastic Halloween party with music from Hollywood! Best costume prizes and giveaways! Tickets available from Hurlford Bowling Club.

JOHN SMITHS RACEDAY AYR RACECOURSE, WHITLETTS ROAD, AYR SAT 31ST OCT 11.05AM One of the final Saturday meetings of the year features seven national hunt races and is always a popular day. Live band after the final race of the day. SCOTFAIRS ANTIQUE, VINTAGE & COLLECTORS FAIR CITADEL LEISURE CENTRE, AYR SAT 31ST OCT ADMISSION £1.50, ACCOMPANIED CHILD FREE. 10.30AM – 4PM Are you a collector? Love hunting for hidden treasures? Come down to the Citadel in Ayr and enjoy the informal atmosphere of the market! There are thousands of interesting, beautiful and affordable items for the general public. Always on offer for sale - pottery, porcelain, glass, antique and estate jewellery, costume jewellery, pictures and prints, books, copper and brass, silver, linen, small items of furniture and collectors items such as coins, postcards, stamps, militaria, football memorabilia, ephemera etc. Witch of The West! to be fun for the full family. CRAFT AND GIFT FAYRE CLARKE MEMORIAL CHURCH HALL, BATH ST, LARGS SAT 31ST OCT Handmade and crafters items not on the high street. Over 25 stalls with an array of gifts crafts and products made local in Ayrshire and surrounding areas. From jewellery to glassware, children’s gifts and toys to treats for mum and dad. Local produce from jams to sweets cakes and candies.



0845 652 0454





Photo Credit | Steven Smith



Trousers ballooning out of control on a windy Irvine beach, waves crashing into shore...and the band...?

of the ocean and rising wind. A fanfare is heard! Believe it or not, Ayrshire Magazine is one year old!

They say it’s your birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday to you!

Inspired by a vision of generating a quality product, offered free, positive about and relative to, Ayrshire, its people and communities, AM is an automatic for the people print revolution. Well, you knew that!

Celebration? Pop open the champagne, Moet and Chandon Ice White Imperial spraying over the assembled guests as the growing storm gathers pace. In the distance a peel of church bells climbs above the howl of the gale before the orchestra strikes up and the soaring voices of an Autumnal choir sing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. The mood gently flows into Aaron Copland’s haunting New England Countryside (instrumental interlude) before the choir sing a medley of Madonna’s Holiday, Katy Perry’s Firework and Kool and the Gang’s Celebration. The crowd applaud and cheer above the roar

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It is brought together by a team who strive to create a publication of fresh, compelling and informative copy coupled with breathtaking imagery. Without both, AM would be like a cloud without a sky. One year from its inception, AM has come a long way in a relatively short space of time, and yet there remains an eagerness and enthusiasm to journey the stretching road that lies ahead. A highway opening out into a great panoramic sweep of future challenges and decision making.


For AM, an unseen tomorrow of great adventure awaits in the next year, and the one after that and the one after that. Driven by ambition and determination, large shots of caffeine, chocolate and the publisher’s promise of unlimited White Lightning – only when off duty – AM moves forward.

Christians changed their minds when they began to celebrate the birth of Christ as the holiday of Christmas. This was regarded as an astute move by early Christians and was endorsed by the church. In doing so they hoped to recruit Pagans who were already celebrating the festival of Saturnalia around the same time.

It’s a bit like being part of a William Golding sea trilogy (To The Ends of the Earth), an epic sail across stormy oceans, a rite of passage where learning fast, listening and working with the communities we serve, produce an honest attempt to provide the readership with what resonates with them – if you catch my drift.

Celebrations of birthdays are still considered inappropriate by some religious organisations who will not take part in marking the day. Some contemporary religions think such days are surrounded by mysticism and superstition and, therefore, deem them inappropriate for Christian acknowledgement.

Floating through space and time like wide-eyed sailors travelling across high-rolling seasto strange and exotic lands. Constantly trying to create great journalism and excellent imagery, with Ayrshire at the centre of the enterprise. Dropping anchor, and resting in town, exploring some indistinct though giant celebratory square in some far-off, alien country.

Academics have estimated that birthday celebrations date back to the Egyptians. One researcher, Dr James Hoffmeister, however, has cautioned that these ‘birthdays’ were in fact the coronation date of the Pharoahs, and only referred to their ‘birth date’ as a GOD and not the day they were born.

Somewhere like North Korea, where citizens are not allowed to celebrate their birthday if it falls on either July 8 or December 17. These dates coincide with the deaths of former Supreme leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il respectively. Those whose birthday falls on either of these days are forced to celebrate a day later!!? The present leader Kim Jong-un was born on January 8, so I think I would...erm... try to avoid having my birthday on that day... But North Korea is not unique in having their citizens move their birthday to another date. In Medieval Christian times, ordinary people in this country were forced to celebrate their ‘birthday’ on the day of the saint they were named after. So, if you were born on January 1, and your name was James, you would be obliged to wait and celebrate on your saint’s day July 25th . In this era, only the aristocracy and those of great importance were allowed to celebrate their birthday on the actual day they were born. The early Christian church also considered birthdays as part of Pagan rituals and, therefore, evil. Indeed, for the first few hundred years of Christianity celebrating birthdays was not allowed.

Happily, in late 18th century Germany, children were specially honoured by birthday celebrations when cake and candles became standard. Each child would have a candle for every year of their life plus one which symbolised the hope that they would, at least, have another year of life and another birthday. The rising wind wails plaintively along the long beach at Irvine. The band strikes up again, an old Beatles number When I am 64 sang jauntily by the choir. The gathering storm and the choice of song seem appropriate, the fury with which the magazine is put together as the print run nears. The number looking way ahead to the future. The speeches start, a man with hair flapping in the wind and lugging a camera rushes forward, people chatter excitedly, their voices carried on the wind. The speaker climbs the stairs to the hastily organised stage on the Irvine sand, approaches the microphone : ‘This is only the start’ he says to great cheers. Spontaneously the band strikes up and all those assembled sing : Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday to you! Cue pyrotechnic

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Life can be random. An idea to set off in one direction can be quickly altered and we can find ourselves taking a different path. Suddenly you find yourself on a journey you never, in your wildest, wildest, dreams, ever imagined. Kilmarnock-born David Coulter wanted to try Judo, but in 1969 was taken to Kisan Karate Club by a friend and, as Coulter himself puts it, ‘just stayed’. Neither does he endorse the connection with Hong-Kong American Bruce Lee. Coulter’s involvement in martial arts was before Lee became a superstar with films like Fist Of Fury and Enter The Dragon. Coulter, an ex-employee of local carpet factory BMK, by his own admission, didn’t start Karate to enter competition but, almost inevitably, he did. Another fortunate decision, because, as he soon discovered, he was pretty good at the sport (understatement). To date, Coulter has been Scottish individual champion four times, seven times Scottish team champion, two time European lightweight champion 1978 and 1983, two time world team champion 1975 and 1982 and Scottish team captain. He has also achieved the grade of black belt, 7th Dan. Not bad for a guy who, initially, wanted to be a Judo player and wasn’t interested in competing. Coulter retired from competition and became Scottish Team Coach for the under -21’s in 1985. In 1993 he took over as national team coach, and now works closely with fellow coach Hamish Adam, and head national coach Gerry Fleming. In 1979, the European Lightweight champion started his own club: Sakai Karate Club. The club is named after an area of Japan and has a reputation for producing Karate champions. A humble man who doesn’t talk too much about his own achievements, the club that he founded has subsequently spawned even more champions. Coulter, himself a winner with multiple Karate titles, has used his ability, knowledge and expertise to produce

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more prizewinners. In 36 years he has contributed to the success of Pat McKay, twice world lightweight champion, as well European team and individual gold medalist. In a list that seems endless we can also mention Tom Gibson, European champion, Laughland Wylie, European silver medalist, Tommy Burns, European silver and bronze, Scott Cunningham, twice European silver medalist and British Champion, Robert McCulloch, Scottish and British champion, European bronze medalist, Kirsty Coulter, World Cup silver medalist, six times Scottish champion, Alan Wallace, six times Scottish champion, Dutch Open champion, Michael Coulter, British champion, six times Scottish champion, Kris Coulter, seven times British champion, eight times Scottish Champion, the list goes on... David Coulter’s Sakai Karate Club has developed an astonishing array of talent. Over nearly four decades the Sakai Karate Club has produced two European champions, two Commonwealth champions, nine British champions, 13 European medalists, five Dutch Open champions, two Venice European Cup champions. In addition Sakai is responsible for over 200 Scottish individual champions, and have been 100 times Scottish team champions. It is, by any measure, a staggeringly impressive list. In recent times more honours have been heaped upon the would-be Judo player who got into Karate by chance and was not, initially, interested in competing. David Coulter was one of the torch bearers for the 2012 London Olympics, and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2013. It is typical of this unassuming Kilmarnock man to think somebody was playing a trick on him when he received the letter stating he had been awarded the gong. In fact, at first, he thought it was a letter from the tax man! The well deserved MBE is the icing on a fantastic and very successful, continuing, Karate career. The MBE rewarding

Photo Credit | Andy Sokell

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Photo Credit | Andy Sokell

David Coulter, not only for his own successes, but the time and effort he has put in to helping others improve themselves and develop in the sport. Keen on youth development and putting something back into the sport for those who will follow him, David Coulter is always ready to remind people of what the sport offers youngsters. He talks passionately and sincerely about how the sport can help kids, and is keen to point out it is not all about producing champions. Participating in a sport like Karate can bring confidence, fitness, discipline, rewards and a sense of achievement to individuals. By the nature of the sport, each participant can move at their own pace and achieve grades (represented in coloured belts) as they develop. They can decide what they want to do in the sport, how far they want to develop, and where a sport like Karate can take them. The Karate 7th Dan is also an ambassador for antibullying, and works with bullies to help change their behaviours. But, Sakai Karate Club, is very much a family affair. His

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wife trains with the club, his son Kris is another champion and also an instructor, while both his daughters are Dan grade black belts. In addition his five year-old grandson is already involved in Karate. So, there might be a third generation of the family members who will be Karate champions? Who would bet against that? At the moment David Coulter, is passionate about growing the club and training those keen to get involved and find out more about the sport. He clearly still thrives on this, and after nearly 50 years in the sport shows no signs of slowing down. His eyes are now firmly fixed on the Games of 2020 where Karate is making a bid to become an Olympic sport. David Coulter is a man who has taken opportunities that came his way and used them to make a career for himself in a sport he so, obviously loves. We often forget that in Ayrshire, we often have people who have succeeded locally, nationally and internationally, rubbing shoulders with us as we go about our lives. Now, there’s a thought.

AwardedFive Fivestar starVisit VisitScotland Scotlandfor forthe the5th 5thyear yearininaarow, row,Lochgreen Lochgreen Awarded Awarded Five star Visit Scotland for the experience 5th year in a Ayrshire row, HouseHotel Hotel Troonoffers offers uniquedining dining House ininTroon aaunique experience ininAyrshire Lochgreen House Hotel in Troon offers a unique dining showcasingthe the bestof ofScottish Scottish produce. showcasing best produce.

experience in Ayrshire showcasing the best of Scottish produce.

Setinin30 30acres acresofofbeautiful beautifulgardens, gardens,overlooking overlookingRoyal RoyalTroon Troon Set Our Christmasgolf events now available -coastal See our website for details championship course, with stunningcoastal views! championship golf course, with stunning views!

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Weoffer offeraatable tabled’hote d’hotelunch lunchmenu menustarts startsatat£17.95 £17.95with withààlalacarte cartemenu menu We An French Classic Cuisine & Wines, Lochgreen alsoEvening available.of Our Sunday lunchmenu menu changes weeklyChez andstarts starts also available. Our Sunday lunch changes weekly and atat £20with with teaoror coffee and petitfours. fours.Our Our tabled’hote d’hote seasonal dinner £20 tea coffee and petit table seasonal dinner Five courses with five accompanying wines £55 per person. menuatat£42.50 £42.50includes includescanapés, canapés, coursemeal, meal,tea teaororcoffee coffee andevent. menu 33course and Special accommodation rate available whilst attending this petitfours. fours.Relax Relaxininour ourdrawing drawingroom roomand andenjoy enjoyour ourextremely extremelypopular popular petit Special five course French gourmetafternoon Evening specially afternoon tea £18.95 champagne afternoonwith tea£24.95 £24.95 afternoon tea atat£18.95 ororchampagne tea

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WORLD NEWS A hitch-hiking robot from Canada has sadly had his journey come to an end. HitchBOT is a small robot that has travelled all across Canada and parts of Europe. It relies on strangers picking it up and taking across long stretches of the country. It has a small camera attached and can speak some short phrases. The robot has even went to sea and to a baseball game! Unfortunately, the robot was destroyed by an unknown vandal whilst stopped in Philadelphia. It didn’t take long until the event went viral, with people of the internet rallying around HitchBOT, finding CCTV footage of the vandal in the act. As well as a Philadelphia robotics company offering to fix him and get him on his way once more!

Gourmet burgers are all the rage these days. You cant take five steps in Glasgow without passing a new restaurant boasting their Peanut Butter Burger but across the globe, in Mozambique, fast food chefs are cooking up something truly unique. The pesky midges that are prone to biting people on the banks of Africa’s Lake Victoria are proving to be a great source of nutrients. Thats right, fly burgers. The locals catch them and smash them into normal burger like patties. The burgers are said to be seven times as nutritious as a regular beefburger. Perhaps its time to adopt this method for Scotland’s own midge problem?

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Breaking Bad hasn’t graced our television sets in a few years but that doesn’t mean the fans have stopped worshipping the show. Some in more extreme ways than others. Take Deniz Kosan from Istanbul, for instance. Recently, Deniz just opened Walter’s Coffee Roastery, a coffee shop themed around the award winning television show. With beakers, staff adorned in yellow jumpsuits, stainless steel appliances and barista equipment that looks more like it belongs in a lab, Deniz claims his one goal is to make 99% pure coffee. Yeah, science.

A noble Scottish tradition is under attack in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire. The Carron Fish Bar claims to be the first chip shop in Scotland to serve up the infamous Deep Fried Mars Bar. The shop boasts a large banner over its doors, advertising this claim but the Aberdeenshire Council have asked they take it down. The owner Lorraine Watson, who claims to push over 200 of the crunchy chocolate treats a day at the height of the tourist season, has simply refused.

A man from Georgia had $10,000 worth of lottery tickets returned to him after he had thrown them away by mistake. Cedric Jackson claims that he thought he had just missed out on winning $5000 on both of his lottery tickets and thus, threw the in the bin. It wasn’t until later in the day he had realised the tickets were, in fact, winners. He rushed back to the shop he had bought them from to rummage through their skips but had no luck. It wasn’t until shop worker Ricky Singh had remembered he had thrown them into a bin in the shop that the winning tickets were returned to him.

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77 Dalblair Road Ayr, KA7 1UQ T: 01292 290751 Quality & Style In Ayrshire 19




s it any wonder the Chief Exec of the Ayrshire Hospice, Mandy Yule, loves the colour purple!? Over the last three years the “Go Purple” campaign has raised over £46,000 for the hospice and has seen people from all parts of Ayrshire come together to raise vital funds for the charity. Mandy explains “Go Purple has really captured the imagination of people across Ayrshire - from the farmer who dyed his sheep purple and purple ice cream contests to elegant purple afternoon teas, “wear it purple” days and purple gunge contests - there’s no end to the creativity of our fantastic fundraisers!” This year’s Go Purple day takes place on Friday, 9th October during Hospice Care Week and has already attracted commitment from a number of Ayrshire’s top businesses and organisations including Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Microtech Digital, The Cook School Scotland, North Ayrshire Council, Ayrshire College and a number of teams from NHS Ayrshire & Arran, but more participants are needed! Last year it cost almost £7.2million to run the hospice, equating to over £19,500 per day. Of that £7.2million, over £4million has to be raised from voluntary donations alone. Brownings the Bakers are lead sponsors of this year’s Go Purple campaign, John Gall, Managing Director of Brownings the Bakers explains: “We are as always delighted to support such a fantastic charity as the Ayrshire Hospice, this year’s Go Purple event is especially sweet for us as it involves local children designing a cake that the winner will then get to see made and sold in our shops during Hospice Care Week, with a

percentage of proceeds from the cake sales going directly to the hospice. Having children from all over Ayrshire involved in an event such as this is a great way for us to engage with the local community. We can’t wait to see what designs the children come up with! Engaging with the Ayrshire community is something that’s also close to Mandy Yule’s heart. She explains: “Campaigns like Go Purple really help us to reach people in Ayrshire who might not otherwise get to hear about the work of the hospice. It’s an opportunity for us to explain what we do, to dispel myths, reduce fear and to raise awareness. We also get to have fun and raise money at the same time!” Mandy adds “Many people think that hospices are places full of doom and gloom, when quite often it’s the contrary. Yes, there are many profound and sad moments and we are privileged and proud to be able to offer outstanding care and support to patients and families who are going through those difficult times. But there are also moments full of joy and caring. Our vital work is filled with moments that make people smile during a time that’s difficult for everyone”. So go on, bring a smile to someone’s face. Don your purple glasses, comb your purple wig, tie up your purple laces or pull on your purple tights! Support your local hospice and make Friday 9th October matter! You can also support the campaign by text donate - send PURP09 plus £5 (or your preferred amount) to 70070. Volunteer at one of the Go Purple bucket collections in local supermarkets or help to spread the word by posting about Go Purple on Facebook @AyrshireHospice or use #gopurple2015 on Twitter.

For more Go Purple fundraising ideas or support materials please contact the Ayrshire Hospice fundraising team on 01292 288488 or email

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Incorporating Murray & Tait



glinton park has long been a favourite place to visit for many people from Ayrshire. Lately there has been a great restoration and preservation effort to help maintain the parks many historical features. This is nothing but great news and has made it a great place to take your camera.

There are the obvious locations to shoot like the Tournament Bridge and the ruins of the once great mansion house, but look a little deeper in to the grounds and it throws up a treasure trove of hidden gems. These next few weeks are going to see a major change in the park as summer goes from being in full bloom to slowly receding into autumn; the trees and plants react in a myriad of colours and shapes. Leaves become golden and red before falling to the floor and turning reds and browns while simultaneously altering the shape of the trees. Billowing, undulating green shapes disappear to reveal stark vein like structures. It’s a great time to get out with your camera. Hidden in the woods is the Ice House where ice was kept for the mansion house during its’ heyday. A very basic

Photo Credit |David Dickie


structure resembling an igloo made of stone it appears as if out of nowhere clinging to the hill in the woods.

The loch is a man made feature but one that nature has taken to in a big way. Here would be a great place to bring your telephoto and capture some of the many varieties of birds, insects and other flora and fauna. Should you want to combine two passions then there are fishing permits to be had as well.Take a long a macro lens as the wild flowers and their insect inhabitants are some of the best specimens in the country. Afterwards there is the Tournament Cafe to sit and relax in. Next door is an exhibition where you can learn more about the history of the park and the people who once called it their home. There’s even an amazing play park for the kids so everyone in the family is catered for. It’s a great day out and one that can offer so much to the discerning photographer. To cap it all off it’s absolutely free however there are wee collection ‘poles’ in the car park, I recommend a wee donation their way to keep this asset to the area healthy.

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Stefi: Age -26 Fave food - dominos pizza Fave past time - hanging with friends Pet name - SCM Fave part of Ayrshire - Largs where I live Fave place to sleep - on a sun lounger in scorching heat on holiday Celeb lookalike - no idea?!

Bruce: Age - 9 months Favourite food - he’s on a sensitivity controlled diet so only allowed the one type of wet food, poor boy! Favourite part of Ayrshire - he likes chilling in the garden when I’m there. Fave place to sleep - in his window hammock Celeb lookalike -a white Simba 24 Quality & Style In Ayrshire

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nlikely stories? In the first ever episode of Neighbours (March18, 1985), groom-to-be Des Clarke meets stripper Daphne Lawrence on his stag night. Their lives become crossed destinies when Des is jilted at the altar and Daphne moves in as his lodger. Daphne changes job, from stripper to coffee shop owner and dates some of the local Erinsborough men. But Des and Daphne actually love each other, soon discover each other’s secret, marry and start a family. It is a great, outlandish, storyline which introduced Daphne to soap land, and gave Largs-born actress Elaine Smith her breakthrough role. “ I was a bit shocked that Daphne was a stripper!” Elaine admitted when asked about the character and storyline. “I soon realised... as this was...a family show, the producers couldn’t really pursue the stripper storyline. To be honest, I was just happy to have a job. We thought we were so lucky to be in a show that may last six months.” The Des/Daphne saga enjoyed many twists as the characters evolved, and Ayrshire girl Elaine became one of the central actors in a soap that was destined to be a global smash. “I finished my Arts degree in Perth, worked for a year with the West Australian Theatre Company, then decided to make the move to Melbourne,” she explained the decision that would lead to a part in one of Australia’s best-known exports. “It was generally develop...a career in the performing arts... you needed to be based in either Melbourne or Sydney. After a few months in Melbourne I was sent along to an audition for a one episode guest role in a new TV series called “Neighbours”, but because of my newly acquired short, spiky, blonde haircut was asked back to audition for a role the producers were finding difficult to cast, that of Daphne!” Long before Kylie Minogue or Russell Crowe were even a grammatical error in the scriptwriter’s mind, Smith’s new hairstyle – as well as her acting ability - had won

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her a major role in the show. Smith’s pretty, young face and trendy hairstyle made her the poster girl for the successful Australian drama, but her story starts on the other side of the world. Born in Largs, Ayrshire, on April 23, 1962, the actress moved with her family to Australia when she was 18 months. At the age of four the Smiths returned to Largs, though they were soon off again on a series of journeys which would eventually lead to ‘Erinsborough’. “My Dad was a radio operator in....the Second World War, fighting in France and Germany” she explained. “At the end of the war he travelled through Europe on a motorbike. When...Mum and Dad married in the late fifties they went to live in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), unheard of for a young couple from Largs, then returned to Ayrshire for my arrival. Dad could never settle and wasn’t too fond of the Scottish winter, hence the first move to Australia. My brother and I grew up changing schools quite often as we moved from country to country. I think the legacy of the war, for my Dad, was that he could never settle.” Wherever the nomadic life took Smith and her family, she always retained fond memories of Scotland and her home town in Ayrshire. “My first home was in Gogo Street opposite the Gogo Burn,” she revealed. “I remember...clearly my maternal and paternal grandparents’ homes in Main Street and Moorburn Road. McKays the baker, and Nardinis are fond food memories. I’ve been back to Scotland a few times as an adult and a trip to Largs is always part of the itinerary.” Scotland is never far from her thoughts, and Smith admits her friends find it strange, that she longs for a ‘cold’ winter. “I miss the wildness of the Scottish scenery,” she says with a sense of conviction. “The amazing history... and malt whisky. Most of all I miss the Scottish accents and the humour. Luckily my Mum is still with us and has her beautiful Scots brogue. I also have...Scottish

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friends here in Sydney. We all met through our children attending the same school and those same children, now teenagers, all do highland dancing. I’m immensely proud that my children have an interest in their Scottish heritage.” Elaine now lives in Sydney with her twin girls. Her children, she told me candidly, changed her perception of the world. “ I spent a decade working in theatre and television both in Australia and the UK, some really great jobs and some really average jobs, such is the life of an actor,” she admitted. “I loved all the experiences and all the opportunities but never felt truly fulfilled. Having twin daughters in 2000 changed my life in many ways. My focus was now on them, not my career. I decided to take a step back from acting, except for a guest role here and there, to devote myself to raising the girls and providing some stability at home.” Seeking new challenges, Smith had asked to leave Neighbours in 1987. The Daphne character and her storylines, as unlikely, entangled and jaw-dropping as Photo Credit |KSG Photography they had proved to be, were now running on empty. It was this early success, however, that has driven her latest career. When her children were involved in a school musical she volunteered as a parent helper. Quickly aware that the children were not receiving acting coaching, Smith spoke to the school principal about running some drama classes. Her idea was not to create a school for young actors, but to provide the students with some skills, raise their confidence and self-esteem. It became a three year project. “I developed a Drama program for all ages across primary school,” she explained. “I found I really loved teaching children and had a great mentor in the principal who encouraged me. I completed a Masters

degree in teaching at the University of Sydney in 2011 and now work as a primary teacher and as an education consultant to a theatre company here in Sydney who specialize in quality theatre for children.” Elaine Smith, of course, will be forever grateful to Daphne, but, at that time, the young actress was insistent she was not going to return to Erinsborough. After a few twists and turns, designed to explain her absence from the show, the producers relented and Daphne was involved in a car crash. Left in a coma Daphne eventually died on March 25, 1988 (shown in the UK on July 3, 1989). She was the first ever Neighbours’ character to fatally exit the show. Smith, however, has no regrets about her decision. “I absolutely love what I do and with studying, working and raising children I haven’t really missed acting over the last few years. Life has taken a slightly different path, yet is still connected to everything I have experienced, “ she says philosophically. “I’ve always believed there is a reason for all that we do and that if we’re open to change, life can offer unexpected possibilities.” They are wise words from an Ayrshire girl who has worked hard, achieved great success, became a mother and built a new and exciting career for herself. Smith is an inspirational character, one we would do well to listen to. “I expect the unexpected” she says sagely. “Nothing is predictable but I look forward to watching my daughters grow into the beautiful, spirited and interesting people... they are. I hope to travel more and more, and I wish to inspire the students I teach to believe that anything is possible in their lives.”

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QTS Ladies Night 2015 QTS Ladies Night is regarded as one of the highlights of the Ayrshire social calendar and this year was no exception! The QTS sponsored day saw thousands arrive at the gates of Ayr Racecourse ready for a brilliant evening of racing and entertainment. The opening race, The QTS Women in Engineering Handicap Stakes featured an all female jockey line up. A great nod to Ladies Night. The top 10 Miss Scotland finalists were also on site, raising the style stakes and helping to pick the best dressed ladies with Gary Lamont and Jennifer Reoch helping to host. The Best dressed winners then walked the catwalk for the judging panel, who then put the top 15 through to the final at the Gold Cup weekend. Credit to The Catwalk Academy, Andy Barr, Jeff Holmes and the events team on the day.

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THE MCKINSTRY COMPANY BLACK TIE DINNER The McKinstry Company invited a selection of established clients to a Black Tie Dinner in the prestigious Dumfries House just outside Cumnock. In a short testimonial of remarks after a splendid dinner and a glittering occasion, Graeme McKinstry, the founding Partner, said that it was a delight thirty years on to see the room filled with such a miscellany of guests representing private clients, manufacturers, retail and service industry which again reflected the attraction of The McKinstry Company to its client base where he stated the overall objective was to build relationships rather than complete transactions.

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Photo Credit | Paul Burns


STITCH IN TIME FESTIVAL AT DUMFRIES HOUSE Staff of Galston firm Balmoral Knitwear and Begg & Co rubbed shoulders with royalty at an event staged to promote careers in Scotland’s fashion and textiles industry. Demonstrations were performed to around 500 visitors – of which 300 were school pupils – including Prince Charles and wife Camilla at the Stitch In Time festival at Dumfries House in Cumnock, Ayrshire. Prince Charles, HRH The Duke of Rothesay, said: “The deficit in traditional sewing skills was brought to my attention a couple of years ago and led to the establishment of the Future Textiles programme at Dumfries House. In order to safeguard this vital and precious part of our economy in future years, we must address the endemic skills shortage that exists in many parts of the industry and ensure that young people are aware of the wonderful and rewarding opportunities for employment and long-term career prospects.

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Photo Credit | Alister Firth Photography


CLIC SARGENT’S RAINBOW ASSAULT COURSE CLIC Sargent’s First Ever Rainbow Assault Course event was an explosive success with over 170 people taking part. Held on Sunday 23rd August at the Scottish assault course in Fenwick, supporters of all ages eagerly turned up to get covered head to toe in paint and run the 5k course. With such a fundraising success, the team at CLIC Sargent are already planning their next event for 2016.

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LADIES WHO LUNCH AT TRUMP TURNBERRY Around 200 women gathered together at Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort on Friday the 31st of July for the inaugural Ladies Who Lunch event, in aid of Yorkhill Children’s Charity and The Eric Trump Foundation. Featuring guest speaker Ivanka Trump plus entertainment from Britain’s Got Talent star, Edward Reid, the ladies also heard from Yorkhill director of fundraising, Kirsten Sinclair and patient Zoe Little, plus founder of the Eric Trump Foundation, Eric Trump. Starting the afternoon off was a special shopping experience, with local retailers such as Café Ginger, Garden Girl, Beggs of Scotland and The Whisky Experience. Guests were then piped from the newly renovated Caledonia Ballroom to the lunch, held in the resort’s 1906 function space, by The Bag Rockers. A selection of wonderful auction and raffle prizes, including a £500 ishga hamper, a cashmere throw from Beggs plus having Trump Turnberry’s executive chef, Munur Kara come to your house to make dinner for 10 people, helped to raise over £17,000 for the nominated charities.

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Photo Credit | Alister Firth Photography


TEA & TOURISM VisitScotland Chief Executive Malcolm Roughead was at Dumfries House on Tuesday 1st September to meet representatives of the tourism industry from Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway. One of a current series of ‘listening tour’ events the national tourism organisation is hosting across Scotland, the visit to the stunning 18th century stately home near Cumnock provided regional businesses, associations and attractions with an opportunity to share their views on issues they feel are helping or hindering tourism in their local areas. Amongst those attending were Mike Macfadyen of The Ayrshire Bed and Breakfast Association, Linda Johnston of Auchrannie Leisure, Ralph Porciani of Trump Turnberry and David Mann of the Scottish Maritime Museum.

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CRAIG CAMPBELL Golf This summer has seen a great deal of golfing activity in Scotland and especially here in Ayrshire. We had the mens Scottish Open at Gullane and the mens British Open at St. Andrews, but Ayrshire got the ladies!! The womens’ Scottish Open was held at Dundonald Links and the womens’ British Open took place at the Trump Turnberry Resort. So it’s no surprise that our very own top golf artist, Craig Campbell, was at them all to capture, as only he can, the players’ glorious moments.

INBEE PARK South Korea’s Inbee Park has become just the seventh woman golfer to win the traditional career Grand Slam. The World No.1 carded a course record equalling 65 in the final round to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Trump Turnberry Resort this summer.

RICKIE FOWLER America’s Rickie Fowler birdied the last to snatch victory and deny compatriot Matt Kuchar in a thrilling finish to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open. The World Number Nine produced his second brilliant finish of the season at Gullane, having fallen two shots off the lead when he bogeyed the 14th hole of the final round. Fowler responded with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 18th to finish 12 under par and snatch victory from Ryder Cup team-mate Kuchar.

REBECCA ARTIS Australian Rebecca Artis came from six strokes behind Suzann Pettersen to claim her second Ladies European Tour title at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open. Artis shot a six under par 66 – the lowest round of the tournament – in blustery, drizzly conditions at Dundonald Links in North Ayrshire to finish on six under par and two shots ahead of Pettersen, the world number seven.

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ellington School is Ayrshire’s only independent school and it offers academic excellence and a warm, supportive environment in a beautiful setting close to Ayr’s Low Green and unspoiled sands. Pupils at Wellington benefit from favourable class sizes and a positive, energetic working environment that enables each individual to achieve his or her potential. Visitors often comment on the family feel of the school, where pupils and teachers know one another well, respect one another and form a partnership that achieves great things! Each year, pupils at Wellington excel in the SQA examinations and 2015 was no exception. Almost all

pupils sat five Highers in S5 and 55% of the awards were at grade ‘A’. Impressively, approximately one in five S5 pupils achieved 5 or more ‘A’ grade Higher passes. The implementation of new National 5 courses has been a focus in all schools and 73% of the National 5 exams sat by Wellington pupils resulted in a grade ‘A’. The Sixth Year experience is a special one and on a number of occasions, Wellington has topped the Scottish League tables for performance at Advanced Higher. Last year’s leavers followed proudly in the footsteps of their predecessors, with more than half of Advanced Higher awards being at grade ‘A’, and most now go on to leading universities to study a wide range of subjects, including Medicine, Law and Engineering. Academic success is only one of the benefits of an education at Wellington, where pupils also take part in an enormous range of different activities. Many enjoy the traditional team games of rugby and hockey, while others excel at individual sports, including swimming, tennis and athletics. It is worth mentioning the recent exciting merger with Ayr Rugby, which will ensure that talented and enthusiastic players get access to competition and training at the highest level. Music at Wellington is also very strong and every year seems to produce a new crop of outstanding singers and instrumentalists. This year’s school show, Chess, runs at the Gaiety in Ayr from Wednesday 4 November until Friday 6 November and is not to be missed!

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Although a close-knit community, pupils at Wellington are outward looking and take every opportunity to contribute in the local area and further afield. Last year alone, the Sixth Year Charities raised more than £25000 for Meningitis UK by means of a wide range of fun and imaginative events throughout the year. In recognition of its attempts to bring the wider world into the classroom, Wellington has been awarded full International School status by the British Council and, last year, the countries visited by pupils included France, Germany, Spain, Peru and India. A Wellington education certainly opens doors around the world.

In addition, Wellington School has been shortlisted for the Fundraiser of the Year Award under the UK Heart Safe Awards 2015 as a result of the >£30k sum that was raised for Hand on Heart in the 2013-2014 session. Representatives from the school will travel to Manchester for the Awards Ceremony in October. Wellington is holding Open Days on the evening of Tuesday 6 October (6 – 7:30pm) and the afternoon of Wednesday 7 October (2 – 4pm). Alternatively, visits and Taster Days can be arranged at any time by contacting Mrs Marion Dunlop at the school. Why not go along and find out more?

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“Aye, she was quite funny. I don’t usually like female comedians, but she was actually pretty good.” Somebody just said that to me about Josie Long (and, perhaps most depressingly, it was a woman who said it), so I’m writing this completely blind because my eyeballs rolled right to the back of my head and got stuck. Good thing I know how to touch-type, eh? It reminded me of the time I went to The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow to watch an open mic night. I couldn’t get a seat, so I had to stand beside a group of middle-aged men wearing pit-stained polo necks - collars up, obvs - who were laughing so enthusiastically at the guy on stage that I got drunk off the cheap beer flying from their mouths. Said man on stage was delivering Crap Uncle jokes. Techie Teacher jokes. After his cringeworthy 10 minutes were up, the next comedian arrived: a woman. She’d barely opened her mouth before the lads were turning to face away from the stage, muttering “She’s crap” (she really wasn’t) then talking loudly amongst themselves as though she didn’t exist. It reminded me of every time I’ve heard someone tack “for a woman” on to the end of what would otherwise be a compliment: “You’re funny.” Or the times I’ve been met with either disproportionate shock or delight upon telling a dirty joke, because - what novelty! - ‘real’ ladies don’t do that. That there’s a massive gender gap in comedy is

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no secret. The statistics are sparse, but it’s believed there are around eight or nine male stand-ups for every one female. That’s not because men are funnier than women. Their genitals are definitely a lot more visually comical, but I’ve yet to see any solid evidence that their brains are inherently more capable of wit, or that comedy can be separated by gender into two distinct genres. For every Stewart Lee, Doug Stanhope and Louis CK, there’s a Bridget Christie, Wanda Sykes and Mindy Kaling. In fact, I’m not really interested in arguing with people about whether or not women are funny, because that’s like debating whether or not David Cameron looks like a surprised ham in an overpriced suit. What I am interested in is why women are less likely than men to go into comedy as a profession; and why, when they do, they have to work twice as hard and be twice as funny to achieve half the success. I asked a male comedian friend of mine, who said that the “sleaze factor” of comedy clubs must be off-putting. Men still outnumber women in most audiences (not to mention most gig line-ups, which are curated overwhelmingly by men), and some will be boozed-up and lairy; an intimidating environment for anyone to face, but especially for a woman, who will know from experience that she’ll be judged on how she looks before she’s even started to talk. And what about when she starts delivering her


“that’s like debating whether or not David Cameron looks like a surprised ham in an overpriced suit ” material? Well, then she’s got to deal with punters who have already decided that she can’t be funny because she has a vagina. It’s not their fault - they’ve spent years watching funny TV shows dominated by men, punctuated by the occasional episode of Miranda, which really just wasn’t their cup of tea. They’ve seen countless stand-up specials featuring Michael McIntyre, Lee Evans, Rob Brydon... but their only point of reference for women is Sarah Millican, who they can take or leave, because she bangs on a bit too much about being a lady. Oh yeah, that’s another thing: as a woman, your brand of comedy will never be quite right. Wisecrack about your menstrual cycle or poke fun at gender stereotypes and you’ll be criticised for relying too heavily on boring ‘female’ jokes. Go down the offensive route and you might have a bit more success, but prepare for everything you say to be considered 100 times more shocking than if a man had said it (make that 1,000 times more if you happen to be attractive). It’s not all doom and gloom, though - there are signs that things are looking up. A Ticketmaster survey last year showed that sales for female comedians’ shows had trebled since 2011 (now making up 14% of all comedy event tickets sold); Bridesmaids has paved the way for more female-led comedies (such

as Trainwreck); the BBC has banned all-male, bawto-baw panel shows. We still have some way to go, though, and the change starts with you, the audience. If you’re a comedy fan, it’s up to you to go out of your way to discover new talent, and to champion the women that make you laugh. Show there’s a demand, and that demand will be catered for. Please. I can’t hack watching another show fronted by Jack bloody Whitehall.







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yr is special. Its history is deep and rich. There has been a settlement on the mouth of the river Ayr since before records began. The town was given Royal Burgh status in 1205 by William the Lion and the first Scottish Parliament was held by Robert the Bruce in 1315 at St. John’s Tower. Ayr was also the focus of English control in 1652 when Oliver Cromwell built the Citadel around St. John’s Tower. In 1791, Robert Burns immortalized the town of Ayr in one of his most famous poems, Tam O’ Shanter with the words “Auld Ayr, wham ne’er a town surpasses”. However, Ayr needs action, and the time for action is now. We, as a community, should no longer wait or rely on someone else to revive our town centre. That is why we came together to create the Ayr Town Centre Steering Group in order to rejuvenate the heart of the town we hold so dear. As part of this rejuvenation, the Ayr Town Centre Steering Group has been working hard all year to create TamFest – a celebration of Ayr, its history and its people. The raison d’etre of TamFest is to bring the community of Ayr together to celebrate its heritage, unique history, folklore and to produce something truly outstanding and distinctive – to remind the people of Ayrshire and beyond how special the town of Ayr is and why it is so important that it is revitalised. TamFest is the brainchild of Meredith McCrindle, a young harpist from Houston, Texas. She moved to Ayr four years ago and fell in love with the town and its history. The idea of this celebration was pitched, with trepidation, to various local groups and agencies. Luckily, they saw the enormous benefits to the town that TamFest will have, and

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have put a huge amount of effort into co-ordinating the many activities that TamFest will host. It is being created to bring people back into our wonderful town centre and to show them that the people of Ayr are creating its history day by day and that our role in the modern world is just as important as the role of the people who reside in Ayr’s history. And so, on Saturday the 31st of October 2015 Tam will ride through the town centre of Ayr in celebration of this magnificent story and its history. So, what will be happening during TamFest? Well, rest assured there will be something for everyone. We couldn’t arrange TamFest without including the man himself. There will be recitals throughout the day and a re-enactment of Tam’s epic ride with a video screening held on the high street. The grand finale of the Ride of Tam o’ Shanter starts at Burns Statue Square (where else?) at 4:30pm. Tam will ride Meg down to the pub, where he will disembark for a well-deserved dram. The full reading of Tam o’ Shanter will be performed by the man himself, Robert Burns, outside the pub while Tam drinks inside. For those of you with an oratory prowess, you can take part in a poetry reading competition hosted by the Gaiety Theatre on the run up to the festival for your chance to participate on the day. The winners will recite the poem outside the Tam o’ Shanter at several times throughout the day. One of the main events of the day will be Haunted History Tour, which will take groups of people around the scariest parts of Ayr. Starting at the Gaiety Theatre, the tour becomes more and more mysterious as it progresses - taking in witches, traitors, the Plague, Kings and

Photo Credit |Scott Johnstone


cannibals. You’ll learn a huge amount of history too, if your stomach is strong enough. There will also be a Haunted House Experience based in the infamous Maggie Osborne’s house, for those of you who wish to learn more about this fascinating woman. There will be an 18th Century Market hosted by GalGael – a Glasgow-based charity - that specialises in teaching traditional crafts including, weaving, dying, woodworking, weaponry, pottery and storytelling. There will also be a traditional hog roast arranged by Martin Ward from The Cracklin’ Hog in case you get peckish! A Scottish Fayre will also be present in the Arran Mall and will give people a chance to sample the delights of fine Scottish wares and delicacies. For those of you who wish to quench your thirst, the Ayr Brewing Company will be creating a special limited edition TF brew especially for the event. Its debut will be at the beginning of October and run right through the Festival. During TamFest, live music will feature some of Ayrshire’s best musicians and top talents. Local celebrity Jamie McGeechan (Little Fire) will be performing, as well as Colin Hunter and up and coming star, Chloe Marie Simpson. Other community acts will include the dynamic Ayrshire Infinity Choir, and renown Ayrshire Opera Experience. The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra and Ayr Camarata Orchestra will have prime location under the Kyle Centre dome. TamFest will also host a busking competition, sponsored by Ayr Guitar, with the cream of Ayrshire’s buskers performing for your pleasure. This will be a

competition, so we’re expecting plenty of audience sympathy, humour and financial donation. Kids and adults alike will love the Witches and Warlocks Workshop where you will learn how to make a wand, cast spells and make your very own spell in the Ayr Town Hall. Younger children will be enthralled by the Spooky Book Bug event in the Carnegie Library and the storytelling and face painting that will be taking place throughout the town. Also in the Carnegie Library will be a display of Alexander Goudie’s famous depictions of Tam O’ Shanter along with a special presentation given by Lachlan Goudie. When day turns to night, the place to be is the Gaiety Theatre with their latest production, Tam & Rabbie’s Halloween. This is the night that auld Betty Davidson takes Robert Burns on a journey from his death to his birth and traces the origins of Tam o’ Shanter. With all of this going on, you’ll need guidance. A traditional town crier will announce the main events throughout the day. Listen out for him if you want to catch everything. It goes without saying that TamFest is a huge event that takes an enormous amount of organization. However, it needs the people of Ayrshire to make it a success and true celebration of the town and its history. So keep Halloween free in your diary and come along to experience an incredible event for the whole family. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Aw great spinning heids what am I doing. The Magnum….THE MAGNUM. Alright I know it’s not Madison Square Garden, it’s not the Barrowlands or the Hydro, hell it’s barely even the Magnum any more. Since I first started performing over 20 years ago, and first became a stand up 10 years ago it’s been the venue I’ve always wanted to play. Just once. I’ve to play in some amazing places, all around the world in front of some massive crowds, but the idea of walking up that ramp into the magnum, past the swimming pool & the ice rink (that’s no longer an ice rink) and into that theatre to perform. Fills me with both delight and terror in equal measure. And no it’s happening Nov 20th for one night only. As next year the magnum she closes her doors for the very last time. The old girl has served us well, even if she’s been forgotten for almost a decade. The theatre once a hub for performers all over the UK and looked up with envious eyes but us locals will be gone forever. Yeah I know the magnum these days from the outside looks like a blood of ice cream that’s been dropped in an ash tray but it’s still our Madison Square Garden, it’s our Barrowlands and for one last time in going to do all I can to rip the place up who needs bulldozers. The Magnum means a lot to me, in that pool I “learned to swim” or as I like to call it “learned to avoid drowning” as apparently water wings where too expensive so the Kirkwood boys would just get tossed into the pool and you either swam or …well there’s always another two kids. In the cinema I saw my first movie then years later with a girl touched my first boob….great times. Went to see everything in there, Joe Wayne’s sat morning kid’s comedy show,

Photo Credit | KSG Photography

Glen Michael cartoon cavalcade live…I LOVED Glen Michael cartoon Cavalcade a childhood icon that hasn’t let us down or broken our hearts. The live shows contest’s a theatre full of ravenous sugared up weans scoffing smarties and guzzling Strike Cola cheering on the show, a live version of the TV filled with sketches, Rusty the dog, Toby the Robot and Palladin the lamp. Yeah Palladin the lamp, a generation’s hero all Glen Michael did was put a wee kilt around an old Gas lamp and we lost our minds. George Lucas’s with your CGI...Palldin Lamp FTW. And the best bit was the cartoons, yes he would play nice cartoons for us to watch…just imagine that the singing kettle trying that to kids in 2015. “Hi Boys and Girls…..right here’s a cartoon for 20

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minutes” Kids would rip the place apart. They watched Walking Dead on their smart phones waiting for the show to start they don’t want to watch speedy Gonzales. But there’s a real connection that I’ve never really spoken about I. A bit more personal. Let make take you on a wee trip. Jump in the Deloren Marty , drop some tattie scones in the Mr Fusion and lets go back 35/36 years. A heavily pregnant Margret Kirkwood is pottering around the Magnum Leisure Centre dressing rooms cleaning. Some amazing stars have come through these rooms, Irvine is a bustling town, and the theatre is booked out every single weekend with TV Stars, Bands, Entertainers, Panto’s. It’s a fun job, the whole centre buzzes, as the Magnum is one of the New Towns crown jewels. People pay cash just to come in and look around. It’s amazing, the swimming pools, flume, Ice skating, theatre, the only place in a 10 mile radius you can get a slush puppy. Man this place rocks. There aren’t enough hours in the day to keep it open. Its panto season and theatre & dressing rooms are a mess. Margaret doesn’t mind, its hard work but it will all pay off, Christmas is just around the corner and the extra money will come in handy, with her maternity coming up for her and Davy’s “Lucky accident”. Last job of the night she wander’s into dressing room one puts the mop in the bucket……and feel’s a kick…. hang on….that’d not a kick. Better finish up fast. The Selection of signed star photo’s she grabbed for her two sons and “incoming” will need redone. Mrs Kirkwood’s baby boy is about to make his theatre debut. I have such fond memories of going to the magnum as a kid. Ones I truly treasure. I remember playing on stage in an empty theatre as tiny kid with my brothers while mum worked. Even just visiting it with my dad, swimming, seeing films or just coming in to have a look. Hey folks this was in the days before play station and Netflix, when cash flow didn’t stretch we made our own fun. We vested that place a lot as kids. In the last ten years of my comedy career I’ve got to do some amazing things – I am not listing them boasting is for diddies -, I’ve been so very lucky. In that time I’ve changed as a person, a man, and a comic. I’ve never really wanted the big fame, the endless hours of TV (I get my licks in) it’s always been about performing for live crowds, making connections with people, making happy if I can so I spend time with and provide for my family. People always ask me, when did I know I wanted to be


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Photo Credit | Regina Wylie

a stand up? Who is my inspiration? It comes down to two. 1) Robin Williams I saw Robin Williams live at the New York Met taped off Channel four when I was young and I was fixed I dreamed of doing THAT….the fact is it would take me nearly 15 more years before I realised Before I got into comedy I bumbled about from job to job, working in theatre productions, film making and occasionally acting (HA!). We all have Connelly, other stand up’s have your Bill Hicks, Louis CK’s blah blah…but Robin he was MY guy. 2) Ardal O’Hanlan live at the Magnum. In the very late 90’s just as Father Ted fever has just started sweeping the nation Ardal played the Magnum and he was sensational playing the big gig at the Magnum that was simply something I never thought id get to do. Well you’re not meant to are you? You’re a wee fat kid from Ayrshire? We’re not allowed to aspire to anything are we? An ideology that has always sickened me. As the people from Ayrshire are so full of life, so full of passion so full of talent this place – and I don’t just mean the magnum – could be so much more. Don’t believe me? Leaf through the pages of this magazine. Last week I was able to take a wander around the backstage area of the magnum theatre, the history the

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ambience all still there. It’s seen its better days sure but its cool place to be. As I wandered looking at the show posters from yesterday I started to feel the pressure, feel the excitement stopping to stand right there in dressing room one some 35 years later and it strangely felt like home. Margaret Kirkwood passed away Jan 1997. Half my life time ago, 7 Years before I even considered telling my first joke on stage. On Nov 20th Mrs Kirkwood’s baby boy takes to the Magnum stage as a stand up for the first, last and only time. I am not cleaning up. I’m performing to people that have done so much for me. I’m proud of the people of my home town. The People of Ayrshire, without whom I wouldn’t have a living, I wouldn’t have a purpose, I wouldn’t be able to be Heather’s Husband or Loki’s & Moriarty’s dad. I’m terrified. But don’t you think for one second I won’t be ready. Thanks for everyone who has pushed me to do this one from the good folks at the Magazine, Freck Fest, Graeme McCormack to Mad Sylvia and Bex. 3 Months to go. This is for Irvine This is for you Mum.

Photo Credit | KSG Photography Freckfest Presents

“Effortlessly Funny, something for everyone” Metro “One the best comedians in the UK today” Mark Millar (Creator of Kickass & Wanted)

“Undeniably funny, unspeakably juvenile” Scotsman

KIRKWOOD nally FiLIVE @ THE MAGNUM THE FIRST TIME, THE LAST TIME, THE ONLY TIME Ayrshire’s top comic comes home to play legendary venue for one night only

Friday 20th November The Magnum Centre, Irvine 7.30pm, Tickets £8 (plus £1 booking fee) Tickets available from, & Also available from The Harbour Arts Centre box office In association with Sidesplitters Comedy & Ayrshire Magazine



osting not one but two major international women’s golf tournaments this summer has been fantastic news for Ayrshire & Arran and will provide a real boost to tourism in the region. The RICOH Women’s British Open and Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open were both tremendous successes in terms of spectator numbers - with 30,500 coming to Trump Turnberry and a record crowd of 9,500 attending Dundonald Links.


Commenting on the importance to tourism of Ayrshire’s ‘summer of golf’, VisitScotland Chairman Mike Cantlay

“The two events also enabled us to showcase the region via the huge global media presence we had at Dundonald

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“These fantastic championships gave us a superb opportunity to promote Ayrshire & Arran as the birthplace of Open Golf, a real mecca for lovers of the sport the world over, and a destination boasting an unrivalled choice of over 45 first-class courses and the very best of links, inland and island golfing experiences.


Links and Trump Turnberry over the course of the fortnight the championships were here and played by the world’s top women professional players. Stunning views of the area were beamed into millions of homes throughout the world and that will, I am sure, encourage many more visitors to come to Ayrshire & Arran – not only to enjoy first-hand our incredible golf courses and beautiful scenery but also to experience our rich heritage and culture, great attractions, warm hospitality and indeed all that the region offers.”

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DREAMS STAY WITH YOU It is epic - the only word for it - music. A collection of distinctive, soulful Scottish compositions with plaintive edge, guitar-driven, imaginative songs and soundscapes. Huge, cinematic-style sounds generating giant visuals and grand style, melodic sing-along anthems. In a big country, dreams stay with you... In their pomp Big Country were THE Scottish band of note (with a twist, but more of that later). In the meantime, they are once again on tour, including an Ayrshire gig (Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock, October 24), and they are still a class act. A band with a loyal following, a fan-base grateful for that unique soundtrack to their teenage years and beyond. “In 1981 not long after Stuart (Adamson) left The Skids he came down to see me,” Bruce Watson recalls the origins of Big Country. “Funnily enough he had always said to me previous to him leaving The Skids that he wanted to do a two guitar thing, and he would be interested in myself. So it was a great pleasure when Stuart actually came down

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to my house and asked me to join up with him... and we started writing songs together, and writing music in a little studio that we built in a place called Townhill just outside Dunfermline.” Soon, bass player Tony Butler and drummer Mark Brzezicki, who worked under the ‘Rhythm For Hire’ banner, were recruited to join Adamson and Watson on the band’s first single,Harvest Home. The four band members gelled very quickly, and got on so well that Londoner Butler and Brzezicki from Slough were invited to join. After Harvest Home, a minor hit, the group enjoyed global success with their next two offerings and successful first album. “The music always came first...” Canadian-born Watson explained the process of writing hits like Fields of Fire and the iconic In A Big Country. “All the songs were kind of instrumentals, like I say they were all written just outside Dunfermline. So, basically it was just the two of us, just jamming away with ideas that Stuart had and ideas that I


THE BIG COUNTRY STORY had and basically putting them together.” Whether the music came first or not, Big Country’s sound was certainly distinctive and unique. Swirling, melodic guitars, often creating a bagpipe-like sound, laced with great lyrics. Songs that were instantly recognisable with strong choruses. The band’s debut album, The Crossing, charted on both sides of the Atlantic. It went platinum in the UK and gold in the USA, where Big Country were nominated for a couple of Grammy Awards. The surf was high and the group were riding the biggest of giant waves all the way from Dunfermline to the United StatestHE . Big Country were on top of the world, appearing on Saturday Night Live in New York, and attending The Grammys in Los Angeles. “I think we got lucky,” Bruce Watson tells me with remarkable modesty. “ In America we’re kind of the Blue Oyster Cult are seen in the UK, like that one hit wonder kind of thing. I don’t know, I think the Americans

just kind of took to the song, ‘In A Big Country’. We got nominated for a couple of Grammys, which was best new group and best new song. They flew us out to LA on Concorde.” In one category (best new band) Big Country only lost out to Boy George and Culture Club. The other nominees were Eurythmics (which, of course, included Annie Lennox) Men Without Hats and Musical Youth. “So, with The Grammys being as popular as it was,” Bruce explained. “It was being broadcast with us on it that put us out to a lot of people in America. We didn’t tour America as much as we would have liked. It ended up we were in Europe most of the time so we didn’t go to America as much as we wanted to.” I am always suspicious that Big Country are much, much more, than Bruce Watson would have us believe : a band who took an instrumental sound and put some words to it. Big Country’s back catalogue of songs, including their hits, are well crafted compositions that are accessible, and

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like all great pieces of music have a longevity that time does not diminish. Fields Of Fire, Chance, Wonderland and Look Away are all great listening, and, of course, In A Big Country will always be a classic. What is also impressive is the way the band’s line-up remained the same over two decades through staggering success and the less successful times. While many bands experienced personnel changes every other Saturday, Big Country’s members stuck together. “I think it’s because we didn’t all live in the same town, we didn’t all live in each other’s pockets,” Bruce Watson told me thoughtfully. “We only got together when were doing a project whether it was either touring or recording, so it’s not like a lot of bands that grew up in the same town, we were kind of geographically all over the shop. Whenever we got together it was always a pleasure to see each other.” It was only the most tragic of circumstances which brought an end to that original and iconic line-up. On December 16, 2001, Stuart Adamson, one of the most

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talented musicians ever to come out of Scotland, was found dead in a hotel room in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was 43. When I asked Bruce how much he missed his fellow band member? The Big Country guitarist could only utter one word. “Completely,” he said, and I didn’t pursue it. In the psychedelic and often madcap history of pop music, the bang and crash, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll of the music scene, Big Country are up there with the best. They are scheduled to appear at the Palace Theatre on Saturday, October 24, and it’s not often Kilmarnock plays host to Grammy nominees and the creators of some of Scotland’s best ever sounds. The final irony, of course, is that Stuart Adamson, like the other members of the band, was not actually born in Scotland. He was, in fact, born in Manchester but grew up in Dunfermline. Big Country are, if not the best, one of the best pop bands ever to emerge from Scotland, and we are more than



RICKENBACKER What is it about guitars that fascinate us so much? In the right hands they can make us cry, make us laugh, make us drift off into fantasy worlds. I’ve heard fully-grown men rant about nut widths, tone woods, string gauges and fret wire, until their beer is spraying out their mouths onto my face. One local player told me he woke up at 3am thinking about the tone of a guitar he’d heard in a local guitar store that day. He was at the door of said store at 10am the following morning to purchase the offending instrument. Another guitarist I know travelled with his wife from Seattle to Ayr to buy an acoustic guitar because he knew it was “The One”. He bought it to replace an old acoustic that he’d bought in California in 1970 and had stolen from his basement in 2013. He told me that losing that guitar was like an old friend dying. No wonder - he’d played it every day for 43 years! Guitarists of all levels cherish their instruments, regardless of their cost. They polish them, re-string them, tweak them, customise them, play them and, sometimes, just sit and look at them; perhaps dreaming of an alternate universe where they are the guitar god onstage, driving thousands of adoring fans wild with their blazing solos and irresistible riffs. Non-players shake their heads when faced with the price tickets of hand-crafted top-end guitars. Maybe they don’t see the hundreds of hours and years of experience it takes to create a beautiful instrument that will bring joy to people for decades to come. Some people baulk at paying £3,000 for a guitar, but would think nothing of handing over the same amount for a sofa. You pays your money…..

Over the next few issues of the Ayrshire Magazine, I’ll be describing (and maybe silently drooling over) some of the more historically important guitars that have graced this planet since their inception. And where better to start than with the first mass-produced electric guitar. It’s true the famous Rickenbacker “Frying Pan” was the first electrified guitar, but that could be categorised as an experiment. The first seriously produced electric guitar was the cumbersomely named Rickenbacker Premier Vox Spanish Model made in 1935 - 36. The body of this beauty is made from bakelite. It’s actually chambered to reduce the weight (bakelite is very heavy!), but in such a way that feedback is not an issue. All the examples I’ve encountered consisted of the guitar and its fitted case alone. I had heard of very rare models that came with the case containing a built-in valve amp and speaker, but never believed I would ever see one until the instrument pictured found its way into the aforementioned guitar shop. This full package cost $200 in it’s day, the equivalent of £6,500 today. There is a certain amount of speculation surrounding the Premier Vox. Rather unexpectedly, Rickenbacker sent the parts to London for assembly, and it was there they would also have their pickups wound. No rational explanation for this has ever been given, and Rickenbacker themselves initially denied it. However, the distinctly Rickenbacker pickup covers were present, denials proved fruitless for Rickenbacker, and the curious construction of this amazing instrument has now entered guitar folklore.

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The talented & beautiful



yrshire is a truly a hot bed of artistic and musical talent and these fertile plains seem to be the home to many great new musicians and bands on the rise. One of these talents is Ayrshire singer-songwriter Chloe Marie. I first heard Chloe singing a few years ago in Ayr and was instantly struck by her deft song-writing ability and naturally beautiful and soulful voice. She reminded me of a young Joni Mitchell for her golden tones and cool delivery and I was sure I was seeing and hearing someone quiet special indeed.

I caught up with Chloe recently to find out a bit more about her and what was coming up in the near future. So how did you get started out as a musician? Chloe: “I’d been musical from a young age always singing around the house and whenever we had guests round at the house, playing music and singing is something I’ve always loved doing. My first proper gig was in Su Casa in Ayr in 2011. It had such a fantastic atmosphere and vibe and was a great wee place to perform, I loved how intimate it was. From there I started gigging around locally and started meeting other musicians and making friends. There are so many talented musicians here in Ayrshire and it’s a great place to live and play! I’d sang at school before in talent shows and things but it was amazing to get out there and play live in public.

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Who are your musical influences? Chloe: “My musical influences range from Laura Marling to Marina and The Diamonds to Ray LaMontagne. I love that whole folky vibe and scene. KT Tunstall is someone I’m a huge fan of, it would be fantastic to support her, that would be a dream come true for me.” What’s on the horizon for you just now? Chloe: “My aim for now is to work hard, keep writing and make contacts. I’m contacting record labels and publishers and I’m keen to see what I can do. I’m off to France in October, I’m going to work my way down from Paris and it’s going to be a fantastic experience. Also once a month I’m going to go somewhere completely new to write songs. I’m trying to find my way and keep momentum up with everything I’m doing just now. What inspires you to play music? Chloe: “Music is a kind of therapy for me. It was a hunger for me to get into this. There have been times in my life where things have been difficult and I’ve found that music has been the best way of letting go of things and expressing myself. I think there’s a Scottish mentality sometimes can be a bit like ‘I’m good but I’m not going to go and do it’, you’ve got to want to step over that line. Scots have went all over the


world and been successful. You’ve got to want to succeed. I feel I’m over that line, I want to succeed and now I’m just trying to find my way.

What are you working on just now?

Who encouraged you to play music?

Just now I’m working on an EP with Scott Nicol, we met four years ago and have been working together which is fantastic.

Chloe: “My parents have always been hugely encouraging and I got singing lessons from a fantastic classical singer called Laura Davidson who really encouraged me to believe in myself. She’s a fantastic woman.

We worked together on the recent Without You in The Frame single which was a great process and it was superb to work with Martin Bone, he did a really excellent job with the music video and photography.

Can you pinpoint a time when you realized wow really I’ve got a voice here that I can really use to express myself ?

Where would you like to be in five years time?

Chloe: “There was a really significant time, in my last year at school, the last concert I sang a song called Christmas Lullaby, I just felt like I wasn’t even there, as if I was outside of myself. It just felt complete. I love that. How do you feel about performing? Chloe: “I just love having the opportunity to perform my songs to an audience. It’s an incredible feeling. It’s so personal but you’re sharing that with everyone. Mostly I write about love and that’s something we can all relate to. I’m a big believer in fate, I live for today and take each day as it comes and music feels like quite a spiritual path. It keeps me grounded as well and its all a journey. As a songwriter I feel I’m on a journey which is all about zoning into feelings that other people might shy away from.

Chloe: “I would like to have my name out there in America, all over Europe, I’d like to be busy with my music. Music is where my heart is and I’d love to be touring, in a wee bus, all over! Making people happy with the songs I sing that’s my dream. I love the feeling that other musicians and songwriters give to me and want to share my songs and stories with everyone. I’d love to get involved with Electric Honey, Stow College’s record label. It’s put out some really great records over the years and I think they’d be great to hook up with. It’s certainly obvious to me just how much passion Chloe Marie has and this coupled with her music talent and drive should see Chloe Marie’s star deservedly on the rise with Chloe being a household name before you know it.

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Photo Credit | Jackson Frater




John Cooper is an Ayrshire songwriter and musician with a great many tale of the music industry and his experiences as a songwriter. A profoundly talented and passionate songwriter John has a long and vibrant career as a song-writer for hire; he is indeed one of the few. I met with John to talk about his experiences as a songwriter, what it means to be a songwriter for hire, writing songs for some of the most famous names in popular music history and on being recorded by the multimillion selling American artist, the great Jimmy Webb. John, an Irvine man, is by his very nature humble, conscientious and utterly devoted to song-writing as a craft and as a social function. I’ve not many anyone as passionate as John when it comes to the art of song-writing. Jamie: You have a real sense of devotion to music as an art form and you’ve mentioned as a social function, can you tell me about that John? John: I believe that the song has the power to lift the soul, to bring hope to people and to let people out there know that they are not alone in this world. When we hear a song we identify with it’s as if we have a friend, somewhere out there someone is going or has been through the same thing and that can give us hope. The song is an immensely powerful method of sharing the human experience, we all have a story to tell, and indeed that story is being lived by every one of us each day. I see it as my role as songwriter to share the human experience through music. It’s a great challenge with the

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greatest of rewards and I’ve always been passionate about music. Jamie: How did you get started out with music? John: I grew up in Bothwell and was incredibly fortunate to have the tutorage of Sheena who also tutored the great Patrick Doyle who has went on to be an immensely successful composer scoring music for films such as Chariots of Fire, Harry Potter and Brave. We were both very lucky to have such a passionate music teacher and that really inspired us both to learn and develop our skills and abilities as musicians, writers and composers. I am grateful to my parents who were quite insistent that I attend my music lessons! I was fortunate to be around at a time when music in Britain was at a very special time of development. The crossover of music across the Atlantic with Dylan coming to perform in the UK, Donovan going to America and the birth of the great British folk revival. For me it all started at Clive’s Incredible Folk Club in Sauchiehall Street. There I’d hang out and meet some of the most incredible musicians who were just extraordinary. Iain David McGeachy aka John Martyn, Bert Jansch and the legendary Davy Graham. All the guitar music that you hear today it was influenced by these guys. They were pioneers and it was marvellous to spend time with them when they were playing in Glasgow. One time Davy Graham came to stay with me at my flat in Pennyburn, my girlfriend at the time was not too impressed owing to his rather hedonistic ways shall we say.

MUSIC Jamie: Can you tell me about your amazing experience with Jimmy Webb? John: Jimmy Webb is one of the biggest selling songwriters of all time, he’s written songs which have been covered by Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Glen Campbell, The Supremes, Linda Ronstadt and so many more. He’s generally considered as one of America’s greatest ever songwriters, and he covered me. This happened with my song One of The Few which Jimmy recorded for his 1982 album Angel Heart. It was of course the most amazing, and unexpected thing, for one of the most successful songwriters of all time to record your song, it was the greatest endorsement, the greatest seal of approval and it still blows my mind today. Jamie: How did that come about then?! John: I had gone along to see Glen Campbell perform at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Glasgow in 1977. The Apollo was THE venue in Scotland and there was absolutely nowhere like it. Anyway I didn’t even have a ticket for the gig and managed to get in by chance. In those days you could quite easily get backstage and as I did I handed over a tape for Jimmy Webb, who wrote many of Glen’s biggest songs including Galveston and Wichita Lineman. The tape ended up in Jimmy’s hands and whilst at my work in Stevenson at about 3 in the morning I received a phone call from Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles.

I thought one of the boys at work was on the wind up. It was Jimmy Webb on the phone. He has asked me if I had a deal, I replied no and then he said “Well you’ve got one now.” Jimmy signed me and recorded my song One of The Few for his 1982 album Angel Heart. I’m the only other songwriter Jimmy has ever recorded which is some feat given who he written songs for. It completely blew my mind and I’ve been grateful to him ever since, he didn’t have to do that. From then on I was pitching songs for famous artists in the States although One of The Few was the main success for me. I never thought something like that would happen to me a wee guy from Ayrshire. On the record there was an amazing ensemble of musicians including Jeff Porcaro, Michael McDonald, Dean Parks and of course Jimmy Webb. John has been invited to pitch songs for artists such as The Carpenters and Dolly Parton. Currently he is working on a set of recordings featuring songs he has written throughout his life and he recently delivered a song-writing workshop as part of the Fusion Festival in Irvine. There are not many musicians as passionate about the craft of song-writing as John, his approach to music and the value that he appropriates for it is quite distinct. Find out more about John at


TALENT SPOTTER Ayrshire Magazine caught up with Yvonne McLellan Ayrshire’s original Talent Spotter

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Photo Credit |David Dickie

TALENT SPOTTER So Yv, what’s your story? I currently am a scout for SpinnUp and run my own music publishing company called Native Publishing. Whilst doing this I help out doing guest lectures / workshops, and been a judge for Tbreak (new band stage at T in The Park) for the past 5 years. Who is your role model and why? I have a few, but firstly it would have to be Allan Dumbreck who now is a senior lecturer at UWS. I first met him at North Glasgow College where he would make lectures relevant and went out of his way to inspire us all and helped us gain valuable work experience. What is the difference between you and everyone else? There is no difference at all. We all have our callings in life but the life changing moment for me was when you have people who believe in you that tell you so. Tell me a time that was significant in your career? I suppose one would be when two albums I was working on in ‘99 had singles enter the charts in the same week to go on to achieve platinum and gold sales. Being released through an indie with such a small team, it was a pretty big deal. It’s probably less of a big thing now with the way the industry has changed but it was a big thing then. What is your superpower? I used to play a game every week when I was a child to see if I could guess who would be the next number 1 in the music charts. More often than not I would get it right and my mum would say to me “How do you manage that?” Fast forward twenty years and it became a handy skill to have. To be a scout, needing to ‘have a good ear’ is part of my role. What is your background ? I grew up in Irvine, enjoyed school, wasn’t the most focused, but as long as I had my music I was happy. When I attended Kilmarnock College there was a lecturer called Peter Kerr who taught me Modern Studies. He was really inspiring and I found it all completely fascinating, and my hunger for learning started. He would often come out with phrase like ‘How can we soar like eagles when we are led by turkeys’ which remains to this day one of my favourite quotes. He sat me down and for the first time and asked “What is it you really want to do” and opened the option of thinking about music as a career. I applied to North Glasgow College and that’s when everything changed. I had one of the best experiences of my life and threw all my time into college.

Our lecturer, Allan Dumbreck gave us jobs for the inhouse record label and my job was the Project Manager for market research. He had managed to secure the contract from Industry Magazine Music Week to conduct market research for the band Oasis for their third album. During this role I had to travel down to London and present my findings to Oasis’s record label and management company. To this day my lecturer still claims this to be one of his proudest moments as a lecturer. A young student sitting with their team explaining what the fans of the band really thought and from this ‘Be Here Now’ was released. During the summer holidays I would work on projects collating the content for a Music Education Directory and then an intern at Sony ATV Publishing in London. From that I was offered jobs with Sony Music and BMG. Sadly I had to decline many offers as they were unpaid. It is a hard industry to enter. During my studies I applied to some specialist music employment agencies. I had to travel to London for an interview and within a week they had a job interview for me, in London! It was a company called Real Time. I was there three months as a Label Manager’s Assistant and taken into the office and offered the Label Managers job. Working for various indie labels was the best learning curve I could have hoped for. My life was my work and got to work with labels Rawkus, Ultimate Dilemma, OM, Tuff Gong and Luaka Bop, to name a few. I got to work on artists albums like Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides, Pharoahe Monch’s Internal Affairs and classics like Soundbombing II, and even had Eminem gatecrash one of our shows making his unofficial debut appearances in the UK. This led to working at his first show at The Astoria, alongside one of his singles for Soundbombing. I returned to Scotland for a change having refused jobs at The Darling Department and New York. I was fed up paying through the nose for accommodation and had met a nice Scottish lad. I went back to college to study Multimedia Computing and Web Development and developed a business plan for opening my own record shop. Alongside this I worked freelance for a company called Active working at events such as Celtic Connections, Showcase Scotland and The Merchant City Hogmanay Celebrations. I opened my record shop in Kilwinning which lasted 2 years due to MP3’s and supermarkets completely changing the market. So I got a job as a lecturer in music business at Ayr College, and pursued my Degree and Masters at University. I was headhunted by V2 Music who were in the process of developing an imprint label several months later we were bought over by the Universal Music Group. I then worked on a new music initiative called The Mill, which was funded by Miller Genuine Draft and then I was approached by Island Records to become their scout which was one of the best decisions I have taken. Island might be part of Universal but it’s an amazing company to work with having an indie ethos together with an inspiring history. The beauty of it all was that I could stay at home and just travel down when I needed to achieve a better work life balance.

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Autumn’s GROOMING GUIDE Groomed is the key word for your beauty regime this Autumn. Keep your face clean with a flush of pink cheeks, full, youthful eyebrows and a rich berry statement lip. Say goodbye to summers wavy tousled locks to make way for a really good blow dry. Hair should look rich, full and make people want to touch it.

1. Benefit Air Patrol £21.50@Debenhams




In love with this! The air patrol works as a primer, colour corrector and has the added bonus of an SPF. It locks on the colour of both powder and cream eye shadows for vibrant colour all day or you can wear it alone by gliding it over your lids for a fresh, wide eyed glowy finish, just add lashings of mascara. Berry Lipsticks Rich berry tones are flattering to everyone but as rough guide fairer skins should should move toward shades with raspberry tones, medium skins look for plum and the darker skins suit a more orange or very deep aubergine berry. Fair Skin Tone 2.Topshop Lips in Inhibition £8.00



Medium Skin Tone 3.Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick in After Dark £15.50 Dark Skin Tone 4.Estée Lauder Pure Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Commanding £25.00@Hourstons 5. Angel Perfuming Hair Mist £22.00@ Debenhams With every swish of your coiffed hair you’ll give those close to you a little waft of this sweet scent. 6. Elizabeth Arden beautiful colour eyebrow pencil £17.00@Debenhams


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A perfectly groomed brow frames your face and takes years of your appearance. Fill in the gaps with this waxy pencil followed by a brush through with the brush on the end to remove pencil marks... please keep it natural folks 7. Rimmel 60 Second Super Shine in Rita Rouge £1.99@Boots The chicest nail colour for this season....keep nails shorter and squared off for an edgy finish.



ayrshire magazine set to the streets to find whats happening in the Ayrshire fashion scene. Animal prints have dominated catwalks this season and Dionne’s outfit reflects this. She has colour-coordinated her tan M ichael Kors statement h  andbag with a printed scarf from H&M. Dionne’s navy blue Versace glasses add a pop of colour to her monochromatic H&M jumper-and-leggings combination. Dionne completes her outfit w  ith trainers by Dunlop. Dionne, Prestwick

Ryan & Lynne, Kilmarnock

Gregor’s outfit is effortlessly stylish. He has paired a classic p  lain white tee from TK Maxx w ith a blazer. This subtle shade ofsteel blue is ahead of trend, andis similar to the blue tailored o utfits seen in the A  utumn/Winter 15-16 collection from Alexander M  cQueen. Gregor wearsjeans by Penguin and smart s hoes from TOPMAN, which together create an overall t imeless smart/casual look. Gregor, Hurlford

Mother & son, Lynne & Ryan,are both making some big fashion s tatements in this season’s trends. Superstylish Ryan wears a smart polo shirt, skinny jeans, and body warmer. The copper and g rey are right on trend, keeping in with current Shoreditch style. Lynne’s silver top takes inspiration from metallic runway couture seen from Jean Paul G  aultier. The top combined with Lynne’s jeans & trainersfit the ever-popular monochomatict rend. Lynne has chosen toaccessorise her outfit with a 70s-inspired fringed bag.

Louise constructeda very fashionable outfit t hat wouldn’t look out of place at London Fashion Week. Bold, graphic, monochomaticprints are a key feature incurrent style and Louise’s dress reflects t his. Heeled ankle bootsfrom TOPSHOP and a black felt floppy hat from French Connection act as perfect accompaniments to c reate Louise’s 60s-inspired smart/casual ensemble. Louise, Largs

Taking inspiration from a hugely popular trend in men’s fashion, Alasdair’s look isevocative of urban styles seenon the catwalks of Milan this season. Oversized t-shirts and polos similar to Alasdair’s have fast e merged as staple pieces in m  en’s casual wear. Faded denim has been firmly reestablished as a wardrobe staple in men’s fashion. This effortlesly stylish outfit is completed with trainers in one oft his season’s most popular c olours; grey.

Andrea has chosen an outfit t hat illustrates two key featuresof current trends; art-inspired prints as well as bold, graphicflorals. The turquoise andcerulean shades in Andrea’sdress - complimented bywedge sandals - a re reminiscent of jewel tonesseen by the likes of Gucci andPaco Rabanne for 2015.A ndrea accessorises with apair of sunglasses which feature aleopard print, hitting anotherpopular trend. Andrea, Kilmarnock

Alasdair, Kilmarnock

Here at ayrshire magazine we appreciate people who understand the importance of fashion, so if we stop you in the street please give us your biggest smile and stand proud

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LAYER UP! Nights are becoming cooler, the days are shorter but ditching your summer wardrobe feels like admitting defeat. Layering is key when putting together your transitional wardrobe for Autumn. Think lightweight macs for rain showers, thick cosy scarves that can be tied around your bag when the sun comes out and mixing your midi skirts with a longer arm length top such as a pussybow shirt. Use textured fabrics such as leather or wool along with sheer fine layers to create an effortless rich feel to your outfits. Keep your outfit on pointe with a huge pair of retro sunglasses just to remind you the sun is still shining.





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5 1. Oasis Pussy Bow Shirt £38.00 | 2. Next Roll Neck Dress in Berry £25.00 | 3. River Island Black Skinny Leather Look Trouser £40 | 4. Topshop Velvet Cat Eye Sunglasses in Navy £18.00 | 5. Oasis Belted Short Sleeved Coat | 6. Shoe Gallery (Prestwick) Storybook Clutch Bag Romeo and Juliet £50.00 | 7. Marks and Spencer’s Pleated Midi Skirt in Olive £39.50

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Blazer | John Rocha @ Debenhams Ayr | £59.50 T-Shirt | Maine @ Debenhams Ayr | £8 Jeans | Redherring @ Debenhams Ayr | £30 Shoes | Redherring @ Debenhams Ayr | £45 Watch | Redherring @ Debenhams Ayr | £30 Neil Chair @ Saxen Office furniture £586

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Male GROOMING Your tan is fading, the nights are colder, the heating is back on....time to mix up your beauty routine. Autumn grooming should be all about putting the moisture, the love and the time back into your parched summer body for a more refined polished you. BY: KELLY CRIPPS


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1. Valentino UOMO Aftershave £64.50@ Debenhams An aromatic smooth leathery fragrance. An addictive scent with a hint of sweetness that still manages to be manly. 2. Ren V-Cense Revitalizing Night Cream £32.00@ Marks and Spencer Skin heals and repairs whilst you sleep so applying a night cream will double the effectiveness of your moisturizer and you’ll wake up looking years younger...well maybe. The Ren range is clean and free from nasty chemicals so won’t irritate your face and the frankincense scent will help you drift off into a restful nights sleep.those close to you a little waft of this sweet scent. 3. L’Oreal Professional Beach Waves Salt Spray £9.99@Salon Services Surf sprays are ideal for fine or thinning hair. Spray onto damp hair and blow dry for added oomph and volume or if you have a shorter style spray onto dry hair for matt texture without the weight of a clay. Smells pretty fab too.

4. Clinique for Men Post-Shave Soother £20.00@Debenhams A cult classic for good reason. Give your face a massage with a blob of this after you shave to relieve dry, rashy skin. The light gel shouldn’t leave your skin greasy and it is scent free so won’t clash with your aftershave...bonus



FALL FASHION Give your wardrobe a bit of a revamp with a few transitional pieces to see you through Autumn. A lightweight jacket is essential and khaki is a great colour for this season as it has a shade to suit everyone. Desert boots are fast becoming a wardrobe staple too, they look smart enough for work, casual enough for jeans plus a good pair will withstand the rainy season too. Mix up your style with a statement sweater, we like graphics, texture and maybe even throw on a roll neck and practise your best blue steel. BY: KELLY CRIPPS


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1. H&M Knitted jumper £24.99 | 2. Scott’s Aquascutum Cashmere House Check Scarf £79.00 | 3. Pretty Green Khaki Radway Hooded Jacket £125.00 Unique | 4. River Island Brown Flannel Long Sleeve Shirt £28 | 5. River Island Desert Boots £55.00 | 6. Burton Burgundy Slim Chinos £14.00

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DREAM BRIDES time to dream...


32 High Street Irvine, Ayrshire KA12 0AY


TEL: 01294 313730

Ayrshire’s Largest Bridal Shop By Appointment

Photo Credit |Jeny Turner




he Autumnal Fall will soon be upon us and it’s a wonderful time of year to be married. Ayrshire is bountiful not only with berries, but beautiful venues across the length and breadth of the county with everything from glass houses to barn conversions and historic castles to coach houses which can be used all-year round. In fact the wedding trends for the forthcoming season are very much rustic country vintage, if you can imagine orchards, hay bales, wheelbarrows, beer kegs, wooden gates, whisky barrels, fire pits and hand-carts, with decoration in an abundance of wild flowers, hanging ivy and berry fruits. With social media at our finger tips, we are constantly reminded of the “good ole days” and things we had growing up as children. So it’s only natural that we are looking to incorporate those vintage times back into our family celebrations of today, which may be framed photos of our grandparents on their wedding day, tables named after our favourite story books and tunes from the 80s era.

Photo Credit |Jeny Turner

As well as sourcing old vintage props from family, friends and the local second hand emporiums, brides are always looking for ways to personalise their special day. Using the ever favourite Pinterest, we are able to browse thousands of ideas for inspiration and create our own DIY table plans, orders of service and guest wishes. WILD FLOWERS

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Examples include; whilst waiting for the bride to arrive at the ceremony guests can complete a bespoke crossword

Photo Credit |Andi Watson



of who’s who in the wedding party and place setting cards at the dinner table for guests to draw their own pictures of the bride and groom. Clients are creating their own logos to use in their stationery and on their wedding cakes, whilst others use Facebook to announce their recent engagement with their names and a heart written in the sand down at the local beach. Although caricaturists can be hired to mingle with guests during the cocktail drinks or evening reception, clients are also asking for their own caricature to appear on their wedding invitations or for a caricature to be made up of each guest which can be used as their place card for sitting down at the meal. As an independent wedding planner I am fortunate to work with clients from all over the world, who bring to Scotland for incorporation into their wedding day, traditions and keepsakes from their homeland and local cultures. Many are looking for the traditional Scottish wedding with thistle flowers, tartan fabric and a piper performing, but most also want it with a medieval twist, such as a barn owl to deliver their wedding rings or a classical harpist playing the theme tune to Game of Thrones. In recent years, colour palettes have changed considerably. Inevitably each week we saw regal purple or classic silver, but these days, brides are asking for blush pink, blue teal or marsala red to match with their bridesmaid dress colouring. You can keep your legal ceremony short and sweet, or like many of my clients, you can individualise your ceremony with Celtic traditions such as hand-fasting with ribbons and even write your own vows to each other and offer 3 reasons why you love one another. So the next time you get the chance to attend a wedding, just take a moment to explore what has made this wedding different from another and how the clients have chosen to create something really special for you, as well as for them.

“Ayrshire is bountiful not only with berries, but beautiful venues across the length and breadth of the county with everything from glass houses to barn conversions and historic castles to coach houses which can be used all-year round�



arbados is a small island in the Eastern Caribbean and although it may not the largest island, it promises to deliver an experience that’s larger than life. The country is known for its expansive cultural roots, with ties to England, Africa and West India. The island has used this to establish its own identity with unique customs, values and traditions. All of this can be seen through the country’s rich history, world famous cuisine and passionate artistic talents of the local citizens. Speaking of local talents the island is well known for its Bajan music, a mix of styles which is heavily influenced by their British and African ancestors. Mixing genres such as folk, classical, religious and pop music to create a truly unique sound. Any stroll through the streets of Barbados will be a treat your ears to as you get to experience a wonderful soundtrack of varying styles such as Caribbean Jazz, Barbadian Folk Music, Calypso, Spouge and Soca. Music plays a pivotal role in the history and culture of Barbados and is something any visitor should take the chance to experience. An extension of the vast array of music the country has to offer is the nightlife it has created. You’ll be able to find somewhere to let your hair down almost anywhere on the island. There are beach, sports and wine bars as well as Jazz, reggae and nightclubs. If you’re looking for something a little different one can even visit the theatre or the opera. Relax on the white, sand beaches that span over seventy miles of the islands coastline. With a year round warm climate, any time is the perfect time to kick back under a palm tree and let all of your troubles wash way with the waves.

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If you’re looking for something to drink whilst on your stay look no further than Barbados’ own national drink, Rum. It is said that Rum is the oldest distilled drink in the world and it’s certainly the oldest distilled drink in Barbados. First sold in 1703, this drink cemented itself in the islands history and is a must try for tourists!


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TRAVEL Whilst sampling the drinks of Barbados, why not try one of the finest dining experiences they have on offer? The Cliff Restaurant offers many different styles of eating, from local dishes to Asian fusion, French and Thai dishes. Situated on top of a cliff next to the ocean, this stunning eatery overlooks the sea and beach with steps leading up to the entrance running along the cliffs edge, accommodating those arriving by boat. Lit by torch, one can admire the cove in which stingray and tarpon gather in the floodlit water. The beautiful surroundings are only complimented further by the fantastic presentation of food and service you’ll be given.

When looking for a place to stay whilst in Barbados, one need to look no further than the Sandy Lane Hotel. Since they welcomed their first guests in 1961, Sandy Lane has been considered the number one place to be in the Caribbean. Conjuring up ideas of a tranquillity, open to a number of experiences weather its a romantic getaway or a fun filled family vacation. Famous for its stunning views along a white sandy bay on Barbados’ west coast and a wide range of recreational activities. Any acting golfing enthusiast can discover three of the finest courses in the Caribbean.

Barbados boasts the lively, exciting and lavish lifestyle one would come to expect of a large city with all the cultural, homegrown and welcoming feel of a small island community. Everyone is welcome and expected to join in. So weather you are coming for the natural beauty, beaches, music, natural history, or perhaps all of the above, it is clear that Barbados has a lot to offer.

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Photo Credit |Scott Johnstone



HEAD CHEF AT KIRKMICHAEL ARMS, KIRKMICHAEL. What are your favourite food combinations? At Kirkmichael arms we try and keep things simple ,classic combinations done well with good attention to detail, I think some chefs try to hard with combinations that just don’t work What are staple ingredients in your kitchen? We always have an abundance of top quality pork ,as the local farm I can see from my kitchen window rears me rare breed pigs , fish &shelfish What seasonal produce are you using right now? Lots of nice stuff about just now ,leeks lobster ,razor clams, mackerel, cabbages to name a few What was your worst kitchen disaster? It was Christmas day got to work to find all the pipes had frozen over night and burst ,it was like a paddling pool!! All the pipe work above the kitchen had burst aswell water running down the walls light fittings hanging from the roof absolute carnage !! 300 happy customers were served Why did you choose to become a chef?

I am one of three brothers who are all chefs ,it must have been my mums cooking that drove us towards the kitchen, let’s just say she wasn’t the best cook !! Who are your biggest (food) inspirations? Rick stein ,Marcus wearing, Tom kerridge ,not mum ! What is your favourite/best food memory? Probably going for a dinner at my young brother Craigs at St Andrews old course hotel, went with one of the boys from the kitchen the meal was absolutely stunning Favourite equipment or gadget? Wooden spoon! Don’t do gadgets! What do you like to eat when you are at home? Simple stuff at home salads pastas stuff like that I have 2 daughters who decide what’s for dinner! ! They both love there food tho so no chicken nuggets ! Favourite cookbooks? To many to list. I think people should just try and pick a few ideas and combinations and have a bash rather than trying to recreate the pictures in the books What do you love most about your job? Working with all the best local produce well as much as possible, the team at Kirkmichael arms, great chefs who have worked with me for years ,it’s not a one man job , and Dorothy &Andrew Birks the owners great people


Andrew whisked us up a fillet of beef with Suet Pudding and veg. This was the first time AM has experienced the Sous Vide method of cooking (Water bath) and will most definitely not be the last. This fillet was like no fillet AM has ever bitten into. The food is vacuum bagged to seal the flavour and trust us when we say this.. IT WORKS! Andrew, typically in Europe each region will have its signature dish, what dish would you say represents Ayrshire? It’s got to be haggis neeps and Ayrshire tatties, Cullen Skink is probably a close second though. What seasonal ingredients are you enjoying using at the moment? The fresh beef and lamb is excellent quality at this time of year. The cabbage and baby veg is also very good. I’m also really enjoying the fresh seafood. What ingredient could you not live without in your kitchen? Onions - They are in absolutely everything, stocks, soups, stews... Everything. The hardest ingredient to live without in the kitchen however would be patience. Do you prefer traditional cooking or the more modern approach? I like experimenting with new styles of cooking but I think we should always stick to our roots and have a good understanding of the basics before experimenting with new styles. Basically don’t walk before you can run. Do you use your recipes at home? I have 4 kids so can’t really give my home cooking the time and attention I put in at the restaurant, however everything we eat at home is fresh and healthy and all the sauces are home made.

What’s your favourite tool in the kitchen? It’s got to be a knife. I’m not one for fancy expensive knives though, as long as it’s to a good standard and razor sharp I’m happy. Who would you most like to sit round the table with? I think it would be interesting to get Quentin Tarantino and the entire cast of D’jango unchained round the table. How do you keep up with the latest culinary trends? We are constantly buying books, there’s a room in my house that’s basically a library for cook books. Social media is also a great way to keep on top of what’s going on in the food world. What would you like to improve on as a chef? I feel that as a chef you have to be constantly improving, skills, kit, serving items etc the list goes on. With all the different influences from around the world and people trying new things, you could spend your whole life studying food and never get there. Good equipment is key though. Finally, what’s the key to a good operation? The staff are key. They are the heart and soul of the operation and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of them. Loyalty is a big thing too and that’s one thing about the Loch Green House Hotel, the staff tend to stay. There have been some members of staff that have been here for 20 years plus and it’s that kind of loyalty, teamwork and dedication that make the staff the key to a good operation.

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VARANI’S FORUM ICES Across the whole of Ayrshire, no matter where you are or who you’re with, one needs only mention Varani’s Forum Cafe to launch people into conversation. Stories of past and present are shared. Summers days, trips with the family and, of course, world class ice cream. The Forum Cafe has been boasting ‘Ice Cream Heaven since 1937’, way back when the first generation of Varani’s immigrated to Scotland and opened the shop. Back then there was only one flavour, the now famous, Forum Plain. The classic taste was very different from the usual vanilla flavours you could get elsewhere, carrying a very unique taste that stood out from the rest.

From there, the business could only grow. In the 70’s, the shop expanded its range of ice cream flavours after the introduction of the ice cream display cabinets and by the time the 80’s rolled around they were producing 25 unique tastes for the people of Ayrshire. The shop has maintained its success through the years and is still as big a deal as it was the day it opened its doors. Current owner, Ricardo (the 4th generation of Varani to own the shop), attributes this to many different reasons and one thing that’s seems to shine through the most is staying true to the shops history whilst also staying relevant. When you enter the shop you know that there is a deep

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respect for the history, from the photos on the wall to just the general, classic feel. Where they aren’t afraid to try something new is, of course, in the fantastic range of ice cream they have on offer. The Forum offers 49 constantly changing flavours. From the classic Plain to Red Cola and even Creme Egg! Since they opened in 1937 they have created over 1400 flavours. Ricardo likes to keep ahead of the competition. He offers dairy free, fat free, and soya free ice cream, meaning almost anyone can enjoy it. There’s even ice cream on offer for those who suffer from diabetes. Even the normal ice cream is low in fat! Managing to remove all of this and still have a great tasting product in the end is nothing short of amazing and certainly a way to stay ahead in the game.

Forum, then back home to people from Australia who’s first stop isn’t home but is The Forum Cafe. The fantastic ice cream has even travelled, frozen, all the way to South Africa by plane. If theres any way to show the scope of just how in demand the ice cream is, this is it. The future of the cafe looks to be even brighter. With new treats such as the Forums own home made cookie dough and millionaire shortbread hot desserts and of course the constantly changing 49 variates of ice cream, again, all home made in the shop. With hopes to expand into their very own ice cream parlour, its easy to see why The Forum has stayed and will remain at the top of Ayrshire’s ice cream market for many years to come.

The Forum never shy away from keeping up to date with all forms of media. Weather its full newspaper spreads about their hangover cure ice cream, tv news coverage on their Devolution ice cream in which people voted with their taste buds or their own activity on the most current social media, you can look anywhere and see they’ve left their mark. With constant competitions, updates and suggestions from their many patrons on all their social media pages. Just a few of the many ways they strive to bring excellence to all customers from all over! When I say all over, I don’t just mean Ayrshire. Varani’s Forum Ice Cream has travelled all over the globe. From rich Parisians who fly to Preswick just to travel to the

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RECIPE Parsnip Potato Cakes 450g Parsnips 50g Butter 1 small shallot 225g Mashed potato (without milk, butter or cream) 6 fresh sage leaves Oil for frying Butter Salt, Pepper and Ground Nutmeg Breadcrumb Topping 2/3 tablespoons plain flour 2 eggs , beaten with 2/3 table spoons milk 200g fresh white breadcrumbs (dried can be used) Method Peel and quarter the parsnips, removing the centre core. Cut into 1cm dice. Melt 25g of butter and add the parsnips, cover and cook on a medium heat for 10mins. Remove the lid and allow to cook for a further 2/3 mins. Remove from heat and mash, leaving a slightly chunky texture. Melt the remaining butter in a pan and add the shallot. Cook for 1 minute. Mix the mashed potatoes with the shallots and chopped sage. Season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Shape into 8 disc shaped cakes or balls. Lie them on cling film and place in fridge for 30 mins. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Remove the cakes from the fridge and lightly coat each with the flour mixture. Pass the cakes, one at a time through the egg and milk mixture, then the crumbs, shaping and patting with a palette knife. To ensure a good coating, repeat the process. Heat some cooking oil in a frying pan, add a knob of butter and once bubbling, place the cakes in the oil and cook for 6/7 mins, turning once. Remove from the pan and dry on kitchen paper. Ready to serve

Fillet Steaks 4 x 140g (Centre Cut) Salt and Pepper Knob of Butter Method Season the Fillet Steaks with Salt and Pepper Heat a Frying Pan with Vegetable oil and fry the meat on all sides until golden and cooked to your liking Remove the steaks from the pan and allow to rest.

Vichy Carrots 800g young carrots Salt and Pepper Pinch of Sugar Small pieces of chopped butter and chopped parsley to serve Method Peel the carrots and cut into thin rounds. Place in a sautĂŠ pan and just cover with water, adding a teaspoon of salt and generous pinch of sugar. Cook gently until all the liquid is absorbed. Serve sprinkled with butter and chopped parsley

Onion Gravy 4 Large Onions, finely chopped 2 Tablespoons of water 300ml Beef Jus Method Place the onions in a pan with water and cook on a very low heat for approx 2 hours Once the onions have caramelized, remove from the heat and serve.

Photo Credit |Scott Johnstone




FERRARI F430 SPYDER Ever fancied a blow dry at 196mph? Steady guys it says blow-dry! Well Ferrari made this dream possible, by opening the convertible top and planting your foot to the floor you’ll soon be doing over 190mph while the wind makes a right mess of your Barnet. That being said though turning up in an F430 Spider is a great feeling, hair full of wasps or not it’s still up there. For those who like to keep it tidy there’s also the option of keeping the roof up but why would you? Much like all Ferrari’s the spec sheet of this fire breathing dragon are not too shabby either. Boasting a 0-62mph time of 3.6 seconds this is still one fast car. With 483bhp on tap it’s easy to see how this car would never fail to put a smile on your face. Despite being an older Ferrari, now replaced by the 458, the F430 Spider still keeps its place with the modern breed of supercars and will still turn

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heads on the streets. The body style is far from dated and in our opinion it’s still one of the best looking cars Ferrari has ever produced. Brembo brakes as standard make the car stop well but they also look great too. You know you’re a petrol head when you peer through the alloys and the iconic Brembo badge never fails to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. This is the type of car that you can take a nice relaxed luxury Sunday drive in and then take it straight to the track and give it a right good thrashing. The only difference is that you wouldn’t wear a helmet on your nice Sunday drive, although whatever floats your boat. AM can think of nothing better than taking this hall of famer through the Shire all while the power of Mordor lurks under the tailgate, this is what really makes the F430 Spider precious!

Photo Credit |Scott Johnstone


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The Heckling Shed Created by Kabe Design | Commercial Design Consultants | 93 Hope Street, Studio 147, 2nd Floor Central Chambers, Glasgow, G2 6LD

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“The Heckling Shed is such a unique place - swathed in history. Over the last year we have transformed the building creating a truly outstanding space and an ideal environment for creative thought. It now combines ultra modern with rich tradition - a mix that I find really inspirational. It’s great that we can continue the artistic heritage created here all those years ago - I think Robert Burns would approve.” David McColm


ith all the new and proposed development going on in Irvine its easy to miss the architectural gems that have kept Irvine’s historic past alive. While walking through the town and seeing the changes that have been made over the last century…some good, some bad, you all of a sudden stumble across Glasgow Vennel, also known as Smiddy or Smithy Bar during the 15th century. A beautifully quaint cobbled street, that was the main route of trade between Irvine harbour and Glasgow, until Bank street was constructed in 1826. Turning onto the street you are instantly transported back in time, through the centuries to 1781 where this was the place that a young 23 year old, Robert Burns worked dressing flax at No. 10, The Heckling Shed. He also slept here in space above the store room until the tedious and dusty existence of Flax-heckling filled Burns with depression and caused his father to visit and move his son into No. 4 Glasgow

Photography - John Young Media

Vennel. It was during this time that Robert Burns decided flax weaving was not the career path he had hoped for and in 1782 he decided to leave. However, Irvine had inspired the poet in him through the influential people he had met and the time he spent reading in William Templeton book store. Therefore, it is possible to say that due to his experience in The Heckling Shed he became more focused on his creative talents of poetry. Which is ironic as the heckling shed is today the offices for a creative agency called Visualize This, specialising in design for print, web, marketing, photography, graphic and illustrative design. They have created a clean and light studio space at the front of the building in contrast to the existing stone walls and wooden beams of the Heckling Shed attached. David McColm, the creative director, is passionate about Irvine, the towns history

and its links to the office space that his team now has the privilege of working in. David is working with local schools, colleges, galleries and other creative agencies to utilise the traditional interior of The Heckling Shed so that it may develop creative talents and continue to be a place of inspiration for generations to come.

Find out more about Visualizethis: Find out more about Robert Burns time in Irvine: Quality & Style In Ayrshire 93


ONE Life ONE Family ONE Home To most of us the focus of our lives is around family and home! We all want and dream of the best for our family and we do everything we can to make that happen. But what about your home!


You have 1 home which reflects your quality of life, your style, your taste, your achievements, your aspirations and even your dreams. Your home is a statement about your lifestyle and personality. How many of us can truly say that our home is exactly as we would like, or how many of us have rooms that have become tired and dated. Every week there are fabulous new ideas, new fabrics, new materials and new designs coming on to the market so many it can be intimidating to even embark on redesigning your home, it can all seem like an impossible task. That’s why you truly need professional help. Interior Ideas will work within your budget and timeframe and will be delighted to assist you in completing the transformation you deserve with outstanding results.


Examples of some completed rooms by Ann McKinnon.

1. This room design is within a classic 20th century house with high ceilings. The background walls are neutral however, an injection of colour is achieved by co-ordinating a contrast colour in light shade drapes and scatter cushions. 2. This elegant lounge has a softer lighter ambiance. The subtle curtain fabric dovetails perfectly to create a totally relaxing and pleasing environment.


3. A contemporary bedroom is pictured using a monochrome palette of greys and white. This is both stylish and minimalist utilising cutting edge fabrics and focused designs.

4. This luxurious lounge represents an example of the finest classical taste. A soft sophisticated palette of beige and gold will always be in fashion and will stand the test of time.


All of the above soft furnishings are from the house of Kai. All items shown are available to purchase from Interior Ideas, 195 Main Street, Prestwick. KA9 1LH. Call 01292670624/07900194591.

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Photo Credit | KSG Photography





ocal sports stars of the future are on track to benefit from a superb mentoring initiative, funded by East Ayrshire Council.

Stepping into the mentoring ring is Kieran McMaster, Scottish Boxing Champion, British Silver Medallist and Amateur Scottish International

They’re investing £100,000 into a programme, employing talented and successful athletes in their own fields, to inspire, motivate and develop the next generation of sporting greats.

Currently in Samoa with the Scottish team for the Youth Commonwealth Games, Kieran boxes with Kilmarnockbased Northwest Amateur Boxing Club and is passionate about assisting the club coaches with boxing beginners. Lifting the Council’s programme further is Commonwealth Games weightlifter Sophie Smyth – who only took up the sport two years ago –after tagging along to Kilmarnock Weightlifting Club with her cousin Georgi Black, a weightlifting champion in her own right. While training, she was noticed by club coach Charlie (Chick) Hamilton, who spotted her potential. She was competing just a few weeks later. Since then, Sophie has gone on to represent Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and has also become Scottish Champion. Both athletes recognise the importance a coach and mentor can make, especially for young people starting out and entering the competitive word of sport, trying to make their dreams come true. Kieran said: “As children, we’re inspired by our sports heroes, to go out and try to perform like them. However, it’s

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important to develop your own style and find the best way to perform at your peak, even when things are not going as you’d like and that’s where coaching and mentoring play a crucial role.

by the Talented Athlete Support programme which has helped produce 478 Scottish national championship titles, 18 Scottish international caps, 12 British champions, five European champions and one world champion.

“I was fortunate that my dad was such a big influence on me from a very early age. His wisdom and guidance, as well as the direction and motivation I got from my coach Ray Connell were crucial in helping me achieve the success I’ve enjoyed.

The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 gave sport across Scotland a tremendous boost and, in building on this legacy, East Ayrshire Council have picked up the baton, investing in cultural and sports development, through schools initiatives, events and activities.

“I’m now keen to pass on that wisdom to other up and coming young stars and East Ayrshire Council deserve a lot of credit for developing a programme and a platform where this can happen.”

Indeed, building a post-Commonwealth Games legacy is a vital part of the Council’s cultural and sporting strategy and Kieran and Sophie are spearheading an exciting and important initiative to give every child in the area the opportunity of fulfilling their potential.

Sophie agreed adding: “My cousin Georgi was my sporting hero and I used to enjoy watching her train, seeing exactly what it took to be a champion. “When I started out, I wasn’t even sure I’d stay in the sport, but Chick took an interest, encouraged me to stick at it and we had a lot of laughs developing new ideas and routines. “It never really felt like work and I always looked forward to going in to train and have more fun, getting better and fitter all the time. “That’s the sort of approach I’d like to take with young people as I work with the Council to deliver results and success, inspiring and mentoring the stars of tomorrow on this brilliant programme.” Both Kieran and Sophie had been part of the Council’s Talented Athlete Support Programme – well before joining the mentoring programme and this early support helped cement their sporting success. Last year alone, more than 60 people were supported

It’s no small task, but we’re confident they’ll both prove to be champion mentors and that we’ll be featuring one of their prodigies on these pages in the near future. What a success story that would be! The future is bright for Kieran and Sophie and for the future of sport in East Ayrshire and we can already boast some impressive local heroes: Graeme Obree, world land speed record holder, cycling Peter Kirkbride, Olympic weightlifter Steven Naismith, Scottish international footballer Mark Bennett, Scotland and Glasgow Warrior centre, rugby. Former sporting heroes include: Cameron Sharp (athletics) Rhona Martin (curling) Liverpool manager and football legend, Bill Shankly.

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Photo Credit |Andy Sokell


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e all have those friends who go to the gym once and think they’re athletes or fitness fanatics. Few, however, will stick to it and even fewer will achieve what Scott Brown has. Having appeared in and contributed to previous editions of the magazine, most recently in number 5, Scott and his plans are now a familiar feature. In his most recent adventure, Scott ran (yes, ran!) a 43 mile section of the West Highland Way on Sunday the 1st of August. Any footrace longer than the standard 26 miles of a marathon is known as an ‘Ultra Marathon.’ The route from Tyndrum to Fort William consists of plenty of ups and downs, hills and glens and some treacherous terrain. Despite setting himself a target of completing the race in 8 hours, the man from Dundonald passed the finishing line with a mere 6 and a half hours on the clock. Furthermore, this was achieved without any sort of strategy or plan. At the end of the road, Scott finished in 8th position and received compliments from fellow competitors, unwilling to believe it was possible to run such a distance without a game-plan. Something tells me this definitely won’t be his last Ultra Marathon. Scott is probably most known for his efforts in the ‘Tough Mudder’ 24-hour obstacle/endurance courses over the last few years. That’s not to say that he hasn’t participated in other events, of course... (Spartan Races, other obstacle/ assault courses, etc). In 2012, he finished 11th in the world and was the top-ranked European. The following couple of years were difficult for the soldier-turned-athlete; in 2013

an unfortunate fall brought a promising run alongside the leaders to an end and in 2014 injuries hampered his preparations. As a result, he feels he hasn’t yet been able to demonstrate his full potential, which is staggering considering his achievements so far. While there are many ‘Tough Mudder’ events around the UK, the ‘World’s Toughest Mudder’ takes place in Las Vegas on November the 14th. Ever the fitness fanatic, Scott is looking to take part in the race again if he can catch the eye of any willing sponsors. Physical fitness is obviously of paramount importance when it comes to long distance races or obstacle courses, but according to Scott, a strong mentality could be that little bit extra that takes you over the finishing line. He also believes the time he spent serving his country in the military helped him strengthen his mental fortitude, having toured the Middle East a handful of times. As a personal trainer and owner of his own business, Scott keeps his clients on their toes and helps them achieve their personal goals. From September he will be taking on some more clients if you fancy a physical shake up! A man of many trades and talents, Scott has been at the forefront of many fundraising events and charities, including military charities ‘Soldiers off the Streets’ and ‘Scotty’s Little Soldiers.’ Moreover, he plans to organise at least a couple of fitness-based events every year to raise funds for causes such as ‘Cancer Research’ and ‘Help for

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Photo Credit | KSG Photography




his year, Trump Turnberry had the honour of hosting the Ricoh Women’s British Open. The last time the resort hosted this Championship, was in 2002, when Karrie Webb lifted the trophy. This year, world number one Inbee Park claimed victory following a challenging week and tough weather conditions on the Ailsa. I had the pleasure of watching the ladies play practice rounds, practice on the driving range and also to see them perform during competition. I would like to share with you a few points that I took away from watching these players that could help you improve your game: Set upOne of the first points that stood out was how well these ladies set up to the ball. It didn’t matter if I was looking at the world number one or two, Inbee Park and Lydia Ko, or some of the ladies that had qualified for the event, they all started in a really good set up position.

your upper body or spine angle during the set up position. Can you now visualise how the upper body needs to be tilted towards the golf ball? Most amateurs I teach have their spine angle rounded or slouched at the set up stage; this makes it very difficult for your body to rotate properly during the golf swing. Balance – Even during the windy days of the Championship, all the players kept their balance really well before, during and after the golf swing. Balance plays a major part in hitting the ball consistently out of the middle of the clubface, which in turn has the biggest influence on where and how the ball travels. How to check your balance –

Let’s talk about the ladies upper body position just before they start their swings. They all are in a position where their spine remains straight but they are tilted forward to allow their arms to just hang down straight from their bodies. This position allows their spine to rotate during the golf swing.

I would like you to get yourself in the correct set up position, once you have achieved this position I would like you to rock back and forth onto your toes and then onto your heels - this just gives your body the perception of where your balance lies, heel to toe. After rocking back and forth a couple of times, I would like you now to find ‘middle’ or the balls of your feet. This is where your balance needs to be placed at the set up stage. This position gives you the correct balance point for your body to now perform a golf swing efficiently.

An easy way to visualise this position is to think of a clock sitting at half past 1. The hour hand will represent

To book a lesson with Sven at the Turnberry Performance Academy, please call 01655 334 190.

How to set up correctly –

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s an industry UK Engineering needs to double their recruits to meet projected demand. Unfortunately, if positive action isn’t taken then almost all of these opportunities will be taken up by male candidates. Currently only 6% of the UK engineering workforce is female, a disappointingly low proportion compared to other professions where women have all but closed the gender gap. Although not personally an engineer I’ve been involved in the construction industry now for 14 years and I’ve worked alongside female engineers and project managers in the civil engineering, rail and utilities sectors. I held the mistaken perception that even in these traditionally male sectors progress was being made but recent statistics suggest otherwise. I know that engineering employers within construction aren’t reluctant to take on women and I know that the women engineers I’ve met have been skilled professionals, respected and accepted by their colleagues, fulfilled in their daily jobs and satisfied with the career paths they chose so why are their numbers not growing? Looking for some answers I logged onto the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) site and found yet more depressing statistics. • 2011 - 46% of all co-ed secondary state schools sent no girls on to do A level Physics • 2011 - men were awarded 85% of engineering and technology degrees • male

2012 - 79% of those who took A level physics were

I left school in the early eighties and had studied Physics to a Higher Level in a class of boys with only one other girl. I’d also asked in 2rd year to take Technical Drawing and been refused because it was only available to boys- but that was thirty years ago! Why so little progress?

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Digging a bit further I found a survey done in 2013 of 300 women engineers led by Atkins in partnership with BP, Rolls Royce and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Their research found that only 1 in 7 undergraduates in Engineering courses were women – the lowest proportion of women across all courses. In comparison undergraduates in almost 80% of medical & veterinary science courses are now women. Their survey also questioned some of the underlying myths which they believe are responsible for discouraging women into engineering – such as that engineering involved fixing engines, physical strength was required and that it was just too difficult. None of this is true. Careers within the industry are diverse enough to appeal to all. The survey also highlighted how much the survey group enjoyed their careers and explored the barriers they felt existed. “In a major vote of confidence, 84% are either happy or extremely happy with their career choice.” & ” 98% also believe that it is a rewarding career for women.” Interestingly the women surveyed didn’t identify barriers other than the surprise expressed by some at their choice of career and many felt that being women had actively helped their careers (87% felt that being a woman had not hindered them). Working to strict deadlines and being part of teams who design, construct or maintain buildings or systems that have huge impact is challenging and exciting. My own experience in construction and rail infrastructure is that it gets under your skin and that you find yourself investing in your career in a way you wouldn’t have formerly imagined possible. The financial rewards can also be impressive – engineering students are a close second only to medics in securing highly paid jobs. So come on employers, universities, schools and parents we can surely do so much better to encourage young women to consider engineering as a career. w




or Karen Armstrong, It was a light-bulb moment. She has a passion for business and education, so why not use that knowledge to start a business? Why not call it KA Training? Karen, an experienced lecturer of business and economics, as well as a strategic project planner, admits it was an easy, if somewhat, ‘scary decision’. In her role as educator, Karen experienced a huge sense of personal satisfaction helping students progress from NC level programmes to HNC, degree and beyond. “Following their career path has made me proud,” she explained. “I now want to do the same for those who attend KA Training courses, and see these individuals achieve their ambitions. Our course portfolio is expanding based on business need. My team are committed to delivering a relevant programme that serves both businesses and the community to the same high standard.” Karen Armstrong believes that for business to grow and be competitive, staff, at all levels, must be skilled appropriately and encouraged to reach their full potential. The same applies to individuals seeking to progress in their careers, or who are looking for employment. Ms Armstrong finds her inspiration for the new business in her parents. Both were successful in their

chosen professions. Her mother climbing from clerical worker to Personal Assistant to the Sales Director, while her father started as a draughtsman and became European Vice President of the firm he worked for. Both had extensive training as their careers developed, and Karen has identified that this is essential to individual and company success. She believes the training her company offers, and the bespoke design service they provide, will allow individuals and businesses to develop and grow. She is also more than aware that attending and participating in courses of learning can be a daunting experience for some candidates. Karen, herself, has attended many courses in her working life and appreciates that participants have real concerns about making mistakes, not understanding or looking foolish. Recognising this, Karen and her team encourage an atmosphere of inclusion, where ALL ideas and opinions are valued and nourished. The aim of KA Training is to provide a quality service that not only trains but teaches delegates, so that they gain the kind of knowledge and understanding needed for individual and business success. KA Training sounds like the kind of business needed for today’s, fast, sharp and highly competitive labour and business markets. In a rapidly changing world we need immediate solutions, Karen Armstrong and her team believe they have them!

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REVOLVE NETWORKING Picture yourself meeting with a group of friends for a quick coffee on a regular basis – to catch up with what you’ve all been up to. You’ll probably agree that it’s always good to get together for a chinwag. Chat really costs nothing… save the price of the odd cup of coffee. Now imagine having that same coffee and chat at a new café or restaurant each time. It’d certainly be fun, right? In fact, you’ll inevitably end up talking about the places in which you meet and you may get to know what your local area had to offer a little better. Now imagine you had to pay a fee for that privilege - yup - that would suck and the chances are that it may knock the shine off the spirit of the occasion. Revolve Networking group believes that would be unfair too. The only difference is when they have a quick coffee and a chat they have it with business friends instead – and a lot of them. Chatting doesn’t cost them anything either... save the price of the odd cup of coffee. It would seem the Ayrshire business world has really warmed to the idea of dropping in once a month for a quick chat. It is a chance for our vibrant and thriving business community to get to know each other a bit better in a very informal no-commitments kind of way. Best of all there are no memberships or fees – it’s completely free of charge. Just book a ticket online and turn up on the day with your A-game chat. The people behind the creation of Revolve Networking are Chris Arkley from workplace furniture suppliers The Works by Saxen and Chris Benn from architectural design firm Denham / Benn. Speaking to the two recently Chris Benn explained ‘Revolve was a bit of a pipe dream at first. It was the product of a couple of beer fuelled conversations between myself and Chris (Arkley). The response and attendance has been really uplifting and we’re excited about how Revolve will progress over the following months. I guess it

Brand new networking. No fees. No memberships.


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goes to show that people like to chat!’ Chris Arkley pointed out, ‘We are keen to have as much input from our friends at Revolve where possible. We’ve already been approached by a number of businesses keen to provide support to the cause. The event has embraced a real sense of community – people seem to like the idea of shaping a networking event which is based entirely by the character of those who attend.’ Each event so far has captured a vibrant, friendly atmosphere with thirty to fifty delegates gathering once a month since its debut event at SimpsInns stunning Si! restaurant in Irvine. The word about this fresh new take on networking has spread quickly and since then other local businesses such as Elliotts, Atom Create and The Works by Saxen have also played host to events, each event as unique as its surroundings. With QTS Group lined up to host the September event and Cook School Scotland in October, the demand for Revolve to continue their tour around Ayrshire is increasing. Ayrshire is packed with talented businesses who want to make their mark on their local landscape and Revolve Networking are set to promote this in the most flexible, fun and laid back way possible. Where it goes from here we’ll have to wait and see, but for now it seems that the Rock n’ Roll format that Revolve have established has struck a chord within the Ayrshire business community. It’s amazing what a chat with some friends can achieve… and all for the price of a cup of coffee.

EXHIBITIONS North Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership

Care & Support Exhibition Magnum Leisure Centre, Irvine Wednesday 7 October 2015 10am-4pm

This event is free and open to everyone living or working in North Ayrshire. Are you interested in health and social care services? Do you want to find out about local community activities? It’s your choice and your control over services that are delivered. Services that can make a real difference to your life. Free entry / Q&A sessions / Seminars / Exhibition stalls / Tea and coffee


Best Art Vinyl 2015 - Monday 26 October 2015 15 January 2016 - Heritage Centre, Saltcoats, Free Entry

Sleeve Art: 50 Classic Album Covers - Thursday 29 October 2015 – January 2016 - Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine, Free Entry Record Fair The Big Sparra Vinyl Record Fair Saturday 31 October, 11am-4pm Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine and Heritage Centre, Saltcoats Sunday 1st November, 11am-4pm Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

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Photo Credit |David Dickie




s Ayrshire Magazine celebrates a whole year of publication, it got me thinking of the celebrations we had as our children turned one. Having a baby is such an amazing experience but reaching that first birthday is incredible. You watch them grow so much in the space of year; their facial expressions, their personality starting to shine through and the many milestones they reach. It goes so fast and it seems only right to mark the special occasion with something memorable. I have seen some really interesting ways to mark the first birthday such as photography shoots leading up to the first birthday or the popular “cake smash” photography session. Parents have a cake specially made for their child to smash to bits whilst a photographer snaps away. They look like a lot of fun and the kids are always covered in cake! For my son, we had a very small gathering at home with friends and family. We put on a buffet spread and had a very delicious cake made by Brownings in the shape of a number one. We bought our son a small trampoline; the kind that they can hold on to a railing and bounce on to

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their hearts content. My son wasn’t quite walking but just days after he turned one, he took his first few steps towards his Gran. For my daughter, who was born just four days before her brother’s second birthday, we had a joint party at home. More buffet food was provided and my daughter had a birthday tiara to wear which she wasn’t that impressed with. We had another cake from Brownings in the shape of a number one with multi-coloured sprinkles around the edge of the cake. It was so pretty. The most important thing about them turning one was having their family surrounding them and making them feel even more special than normal. They were clueless as to what was going on around them of course but capturing video and photographs of them throughout their first birthday means I can show them everything everyone did for them. Why not share your special first birthday moments with us on the Ayrshire Mums Facebook page?


As autumn approaches, I’m always excited to see the leaves turning from green to golden orange. I love nothing better than crunching through the leaves in the park and enjoying the lower sun. One of our favourite things to do is collect some of the bigger leaves and use them to create leaf art work. You simply place a piece of paper over the top of the leaf and use a wax crayon to rub the paper.

Another exciting thing about autumn is Halloween. There are so many things you can do with your children to celebrate the spookiest day of the year. I asked for some inspiration on the Ayrshire Mums Facebook page and you didn’t disappoint. One of our Facebook Page likers, Claire McAuley shared some of her creepy creations from her last Halloween party. Clare created a “Witches Spell” display in her home which consisted of fresh guts and brains in brown paper bags, witches brew, white mice, eyeballs, witches fingers, snakes and a magic potion. All of these items can be made with things you can buy in shops or things you might have lying around at home. Empty bottles filled with blackcurrant or orange squash for your witches brew, chocolate white mice, chocolate eyeballs and jelly sweet snakes in clear plastic jars and you can make a magic potion using water, glitter and a little bit of washing up liquid.

The fresh guts and fresh brains are made with cold spaghetti and jelly. You could pop some creepy crawlies in the bag too and give the children a bit of a sensory experience treasure hunt.

Clare also decorated the outside of her house with the witch’s legs under her garage door. To make the witch, you need a pair of tights, stuffed with kitchen roll or cardboard tubes, a pair of boots and a broomstick. All very cheap and easy to make yet very effective! The Creation Station provided Ayrshire Mums with a very fun and easy Jack O’Lantern Mask that you can do at home with your children or perhaps take it along to a playgroup or toddler group for an arts and crafts activity. We’d love to see your Jack O’Lantern Masks on the Ayrshire Mum Facebook page once you’ve finished them. To find out more about Creation Station and Create Club classes in Ayrshire, you can email

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ow! Pretty exciting to know that Ayrshire Magazine has hit its One year Anniversary already! I remember when Andrew originally approached me about the magazine. He had such a passion about it. He wanted to create something that explored and symbolised everything good about Ayrshire. I’ll always remember the excitement he had for this project and when he asked me to be on board I couldn’t wait to get involved. He then told me about all the different people he hoped would be contributors to the magazine and it was clear some planning had gone into this. Then he said Billy Kirkwood would be writing for the magazine and I immediately thought; “well, this will be interesting” As most of you know, I’ve been promoting my own wrestling events in Ayr for a number of years now, and just recently had what would be my 4 year anniversary event, so I understand the milestone of reaching an anniversary in something you are passionate about. It’s great to see the hard work of everyone involved in the magazine paying off! On that note! I’ve spoken a couple of times about my good friend who was diagnosed with stomach cancer and was on the comeback trail. Following months of gruelling chemotherapy and fitness training, he’s back! He made a surprise appearance at my anniversary event very recently and what a milestone it was. Search “Kris Travis returns Pro Wrestling Elite) and just feel how special a moment it truly was my “number one” moment of the year so far!

There will be those in your life who you love and care for probably more than yourself and that’s a wonderful thing… But always remember to look after yourself as well… Listening to people, caring for people, loving people is all a wonderful part of life, but often we Ayrshire folk (it’s in our nature you know) are so busy loving and caring for others, we forget to do the same for number one, ourselves. I actually did a fun thing in preparation for this article because I wanted to get some ideas on what to talk about. So I started making a list of all my number ones… My number one food, my number one holiday, my number one sister… Truth be told I threw that last one in there in case she reads this and asks me why I didn’t mention my number one sister. Despite her being my only one, this will most likely be an actual event which has taken place before you even read this. What are your number ones? Sometimes it can actually be really difficult to choose! Like if someone says to you, what’s your number one movie, and you have to sit and think for 30 seconds before saying “I don’t know, loads” Try it! Not as easy as it sounds. Now, we all have different priorities… Many of us choose to prioritise others over ourselves and that is an amazing quality lost in this day and age… But every now and again, it’s ok to make time for you, because sometimes you have to be number one.

Over the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to have a platform to speak about different things… My views on political goings on, hardships of people close to me, family and the importance of making time for them, my own business in Ayr and other no doubt, nonsensical ramblings!

Make sure you check out your NUMBER ONE wrestling show at the Town Hall on September 26th featuring Ayrshires number one stars DREW GALLOWAY & GRADO!! I’m the boss so I get to pick two to be number one!

When given the theme for this particular edition, I found it fitting that it was to be “ONE” in order to coincide with the magazines one year anniversary. I started to think about what I could talk about relating to the number one and what it meant to me and more importantly what it might mean to those reading this article. The truth is, everyone is their own number one in one way or another.

I hope that whatever your priority in life, you’re happy. I hope your own number ones, in whatever context that may be, are appreciative of that number. I know that as your number one choice of magazine, we are Till next time, love each other, and yourself


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CDM Bar Cello Banner Ad-June'15.pdf




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FOREVER HOMES Anyone interested in any of these pets should contact the Scottish SPCA’s centre in Mainholm, Ayr on 03000 999 999

Arnie is a gorgeous guy aged five years old who came into our care through no fault of his own. He is super friendly and enjoys getting attention and exploring. Arnie is looking for a home where he will have access to the great outdoors.

Arnie Blue & Diva

Blue and Diva, aged two years old, came into our care when their owner sadly passed away. Blue is an Alaskan malamute cross and is a friendly and mischievous boy who is full of fun. Diva is an akita cross and is a very friendly and affectionate girl. When Blue and Diva came into our care they were very timid and overwhelmed. We would like Blue and Diva to be rehomed together as they are quite dependent on each other. We are looking for an owner with previous experience of large breed dogs and they would be best suited to a household without young children.

Albert is a very handsome cockerel who arrived as a stray and as no one has claimed him he is now looking for a new home. He is a bit shy with people and prefers to stay out of the way but he would probably love some hens to keep him company!


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Stallone the ferret arrived in our care after being found as a stray. He enjoys nothing more than curling up for a snooze. With daily handling, Stallone could make a brilliant pet for someone.


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Ayrshire Magazine - number 6 - ONE issue  
Ayrshire Magazine - number 6 - ONE issue