Issue 054

The Health Edition

Top Stories

Scott brown

Last season ended bitterly for Ayr United fans at the hands of Partick Thistle in the play-offs. This season, fans were optimistic of another push for promotion. With the big name signing of Aiden McGeady as player/technical manager and the new North Stand underway, maybe this could be the year that long awaited promotion could be on the cards.


The holy month of Ramadan is a special time for Muslims all over the world. It’s a time when families come together to pray, to practice self-discipline and to show kindness and consideration to others. Fasting is observed from sunrise to sunset and, as a result, the pre-dawn meal (suhoor) and post-sunset meal (iftar) are of particular importance.


It’s always special to hear authors talk at the Boswell Book Festival. It is, after all, the world’s only festival of biography and memoir. What makes it even more special, though, is when the author is from Ayrshire.

This year’s programme includes an appearance by the writer and broadcaster, Billy Kay, whose memoir, Born in Kyle: A Love Letter tae an Ayrshire Childhood, was published in November.


Glasgow-born Carol Smillie first graced our TV screens in 1989 as the hostess on the game show, Wheel of Fortune. Surprisingly, though, she hadn’t planned for a career in television.

“It wasn’t a big break I was aware I was going for,” she explains. “It wasn’t my game plan to get into television but an opportunity presented itself so I went for it. That’s really how it all started.”

Explore The Three Towns


Back in the day, a huge number of Sea Cadet units were created with the specific intention of training young men to go to war. Today, the organisation is very different.


When Billy Main and his wife took their two boys on holiday to Center Parcs, little did they know the positive impact it would have on their future lives, not to mention the lives of countless other young boys and girls in North Ayrshire.

The Fascinating Corners and Curiosities of Ardrossan’s Heritage Trail

I didn’t imagine I’d see a seal wearing a football shirt in Ardrossan. Neither did I expect to become intrigued by twenty granite balls, nor be reminded about that Nippy Sweetie, the redoubtable Miss Toner. Visiting this Ayrshire seaside town to explore its heritage trail became all of this, and more.

issue 054


Let me introduce myself, I am John Ferguson, Cruise Director of the multi-award-winning Thorne Travel. We pride ourselves on being the ultimate experts in crafting unforgettable cruise holidays. Selecting the perfect cruise line is paramount to ensuring a truly exceptional experience tailored exclusively for you.

Two Scoops…

I first met Malcolm McPhail some 30 years ago when I walked into the then Cunninghame District Council Sport Development Team – as his boss. We were both young, early in our careers, ambitious, and both runners.

Clare Docherty

Clare Docherty from Ardrossan has achieved something that few people, male or female, have done, and that’s to have not only played for both Rangers and Celtic but also for Ayr United and Kilmarnock.

Ayr’s Tenpin Bowlers Head to Helsinki

The atmosphere is buzzing when I arrive at LA Bowl in Miller Road, Ayr. All 16 lanes are in use, not surprising during a busy half-term week in February.

Jack Lavery

Plenty of youngsters have designs on becoming a professional footballer, but few have the required talent, drive, and determination to realise their lofty ambitions. However, for fifteen-year-old Jack Lavery, this boyhood dream is now well within his grasp.


There are two things that are remarkable about John Hope’s lovely 1924 Humber 11.4HP All-Weather: firstly, the fact that it’s 100 years old this year and, secondly, that it’s the only one of its kind left in the world.


It’ll soon be spring, time when a car enthusiast’s thoughts turn to… car shows. So with several shows on the horizon, we thought we’d mention a few that are bound to be of interest.

Lucy Cree

At the age of 16, Lucy Cree from Kilmarnock is about to enter her third season of competitive rallying. In doing so, she’s following in the footsteps of her father, Ross, who rallied at clubman level and later worked for M-Sport, the motorsport company which builds, prepares, and runs the Ford cars in the World Rally Championship.

A Day in the Life of… a CalMac Skipper

Clifford Wilson’s shipping career has taken him all over the world. He is now a skipper for Caledonian MacBrayne, primarily sailing the Largs to Cumbrae route. He also owns a small fishing company, supplying fresh shellfish caught on his fishing boat, Boy Rory, operated out of Maidens Harbour.

Spring Blossoms on the Burnawn Walk

She jogs downhill, in the middle of the road, towards me – a beautiful stoat, her smooth coat a rich chestnut brown, her belly ivory white. A small animal dangles from her mouth, its tail swaying to and fro as she trots along. At first, I suspect she has caught an unlucky mouse or, perhaps a vole.


Will I ever learn? You would think so after over forty years of marriage. There are times when honesty is best avoided. It was back in January. Our house had been full over the Christmas and New Year festivities. Inevitably, however well prepared we had been, there were lots of leftovers.


David Cooper was only 17 years old when he first started sheep farming at a 472 acre farm in Muirkirk. The farmhouse had previously been abandoned and, as a result, had no heating, hot water or windows.


What do you do if you’re the victim of a hit and run accident in which you lose one of your limbs? Well, if you’re Jamie Dempsey, you leave hospital within three weeks, return to work within six weeks, and then pursue your life-long dream of becoming a falconer.

Break the Silence win the prestigious 2024 Business Excellence Award

Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce Break the Silence as the 2024 Business Excellence Award Winner.


Looking after your employees’ mental and physical health not only benefits your people, but benefits your business too.

The Burnout Phenomenon

Burnout is one of those things you’ve likely heard people talking about, perhaps because they’ve experienced it themselves or because they’re worried about someone who seems to be heading that way.


Sharon Kane is not a stranger to Ayrshire. After living in Ireland, she returned to Troon seven years ago to take up her new role as a grannie.


It was 18 years ago but I can still see my consultant’s eyes today as he delivered this news. His face was warm, his smile was wide. But his eyes? I’d dodged a bullet… I wouldn’t mind, but I hadn’t known I was in the woods in the first place!


Sooooo… How’s it going? You know… that New Year’s Resolution about the gym membership? Oh, going well? You go twice a week? You go! Me? Oh yeah… Nah. Not really for me. Just too much pressure with work, then everything after that, y’know? There’s just not enough time in the day.


Are you one of those people who has gone through life believing that you’re not a runner? Thinking that you couldn’t run the length of yourself? You’re not alone. It turns out that if you can run a 5k you’re amongst the top 10% of the population – that means there’s a whole lot of people out there who can’t, won’t or don’t run, for whatever reason.


Is there anything better than a visit to a health spa? A day/weekend of relaxation and pampering is hard to beat. As well as bubbles (Jacuzzi) and bubbles (Prosecco), the options are endless: beauty treatments, massage, steam baths, reflexology…

The Art of Hygge

We all know the joy which comes from a soft blanket, a log fire and a steaming mug of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day but when it comes to finding comfort in everyday living, the Danes have mastered it and turned it into the philosophy which we know as Hygge.

Food News

Experimenting with vegan cakes can be soul-destroying if you don’t have a few basics up your sleeve to help you navigate the science of baking. Understanding the essentials of cake chemistry can help you enjoy consistently successful results.

To Weather the Storm

We have been deeply affected by COVID-19, and the evidence is clear. Around a third of adults and young people said their mental health had deteriorated over the last two years. We have a real problem… loneliness, insomnia, anxiety, trauma, lack of personal care, and a general feeling of helplessness.

Brian McFie

Brian McFie has seen pretty much all that the world of rock music has to offer – the thrill of landing record deals with major labels, the joy of receiving critical acclaim, the excitement of touring the world, and the personal and professional lows that can follow the loss of a record deal and the dissolution of a band.

Arran’s floating airstrip

Did you know that a floating airstrip was once anchored off Lamlash? And, no, I don’t mean an aircraft carrier but an actual runway which not only floated but gently undulated as it rode on top of the waves.

South Ayrshire Museums & Galleries

If you were a South Ayrshire kid in the ‘80s, you might remember the occasional visit to Rozelle House – or at least racing around the huge gardens playing hide-and-seek or looking for squirrels. Today, the grounds are as impressive as ever (37 hectares, no less). The biggest changes have been to the interior – and the best may be yet to come.


Artist, Victoria Lemon, has a beautiful home. There’s much to admire about the traditional, sandstone fronted property, both inside and out. However, it’s the artwork on display inside the house that really catches my eye.

Gian Quasar

The Bermuda Triangle is a triangular shaped region of the North Atlantic, the corners of which are situated at Miami, San Juan on the island of Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. Over the centuries, many ships, boats and (in more recent times) aircraft have disappeared within or in close proximity to its boundaries, often without a distress call being made or any survivors, bodies or wreckage being found.


I’m standing at The Corner – a site, just off Darvel’s East Main Street that I’ve passed several times in my car and admired, but never stopped to properly investigate.


Unless you’ve been there yourself, it’s hard to imagine what life is like as an unpaid carer. It often involves juggling paid employment and other responsibilities with meeting the needs of a loved one who is ill.


In this modern world of technology, so many of us spend far too long looking down at our laptops or our phones. Even the most memorable moments – live concerts, football matches, ceremonies, firework displays – are witnessed through a tiny screen to be viewed at a later date, rather than enjoyed first-hand.

Above Adventure

Above Adventure is more than just an indoor climbing centre. Rather a lot more, as we shall see.

Set up by former soldier, Dean Pastulovic, Above Adventure was created in order to help disadvantaged people (whether their disadvantage be mental, physical, or financial) by taking them to climbing walls where they could have fun and enjoy social interaction with other people.

Elmbank Motor Company Celebrates its 10 Year Anniversary

Kyle Wilson, the proprietor of Elmbank Motor Company, celebrates his twentieth year in the motor trade this year. Kyle joined Park’s as an apprentice mechanic on leaving Prestwick Academy and served his apprenticeship with the company, thereafter joining its sales force for a time before deciding to set up his own business.


“If you build it they will come” – the gist of the classic 1989 Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams. In it, the baseball-daft farmer played by Costner is compelled to build a baseball diamond in his corn field. Bonkers as the notion is, he plows the crops, lays the bases and a sublime magic unfolds. What emerges is the most unexpected but beautiful venue and sure enough, people start to pour out the woodwork from miles around to see it for themselves.

Spring into Action this Season with Vets4Pets Ayrshire!

As the flowers begin to bloom and the weather warms, spring brings with it a sense of rejuvenation. However, for some pets, it also marks the beginning of seasonal allergies. Just like humans, our furry companions can suffer from allergies provoked by environmental factors such as pollen and grass.


Ayr County Show was first established way back in 1836. Now in its 188th year, it’s back for the 179th time on Saturday 11th May 2024.

Understandably, the show didn’t take place during the two World Wars, amidst the Foot and Mouth outbreak, or as a result of the Covid pandemic, but its winning formula has ensured continued success since the very beginning.


First established in 1999 by husband and wife team, Raymond and Victoria McCutcheon, RMC Double Glazing (Ayr) Ltd has gone from strength to strength, thanks to recommendations from thousands of satisfied customers in Ayrshire and beyond.


A1 Ironmongery & Plastics was established in 2008 by Allan Wyllie and Ivie Kerr who were work colleagues and friends.

Born and bred in Ayrshire, Allan and Ivie have worked in the ironmongery trade their entire working lives, first at Millers Ironmongers, Alloway Street, Ayr, and then at Maxwell Ironmongers, Green Street, Ayr.


Kevin Watt is an Independent Mortgage and Protection Advisor with almost four decades of experience within the financial services sector. Specialising in mortgage and protection advice, Kevin is ideally placed to assist first-time buyers, those looking to re-mortgage, buy-to-let and new-build purchases, as well as home owners moving to a new dream home.

Bifold and Sliding Doors Scotland

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your home or spec-out your new house, fitting modern, thermally efficient doors and windows from Prestwick-based Bifold and Sliding Doors Scotland (‘BSD’ for short) is a great way to enhance not only the appearance of your home but also help to keep the heat in and the heating bills down.


Originally opened in 1920 by an Italian family who had relocated to Scotland, Renaldo’s has passed through the hands of several Italian families through the years, gradually evolving from a cafe that sold gifts alongside its delicious Italian-style ice cream into the much celebrated ice cream and chocolate emporium that it is today.

Precision Redefined

Considered one of the world’s most delicate crafts, watchmaking is an art of true intricate beauty. Originating in the 16th century, the mechanical timekeeper has been a staple of our lives for generations.


Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Our business is Devotion Weddings. We specialise in professional wedding entertainment throughout Ayrshire, the south of Glasgow and Loch Lomond. Our team is made up of myself (David), Stuart, Mandy, Paul and Barry.

Issue 054

The Health Edition

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