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Dane Love lives in the Ayrshire countryside. He has written over thirty books on Scottish subjects in general, and on Ayrshire in particular. He works as a principal teacher at Irvine Royal Academy, but spends much of his free time travelling around the countryside collecting information for his books. 

He is the Honorary Secretary of the Scottish Covenanter Memorials Association, a member of the Ayrshire Archaeological and Natural History Society, past president of the Boswell Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He was awarded the John Strawhorn Quaich in 2014 for his contribution to Ayrshire History. With his interest in all things Scottish, he has traced his ancestry back to Robin Love, who fought with Bonnie Prince Charlie at the battles of Prestonpans and Culloden. Dane Love is married to Hazel and they have two children - Dane and Gillian.

David S. Bartholomew grew up in Edinburgh within the well-known map making family. After gaining a geology degree from St Andrews University, he went on to complete a PhD at Leicester University involving fieldwork in Chilean Patagonia. After working for five years as a government geologist in Zimbabwe, he felt the call to Christian ministry and returned to Scotland where he studied for a divinity degree at Aberdeen University. In 1994 he was ordained as Church of Scotland minister of the Glenkens and served there as parish minister for nearly 28 years. He is married to Heidi and has three children. He retired in 2022 and now lives near Broughton in the Scottish Borders.

James Andrew Begg was born in New Cumnock, with deep roots in rural Ayrshire stretching back four hundred years. Jimmy Begg is a retired GP, married and living in Ayr. His two previous books Rescue 177 (2003) and Burning and Turning (2006) cover eleven years of flying with the Royal Navy as a helicopter Search and Rescue doctor. A member of Ayr Rotary Club, he wrote the bestselling Official Guide Book for the popular Ayrshire Coastal Path (2008) that he helped to create. As a native Scots speaker - and writer - he is several times past winner of the Scottish National Open Poetry Competition for Scots verse, and has broadcast on the BBC. In 1991 he published a volume of poetry and short stories in Ayrshire Scots - The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils. In 2005 he won the Scots Language Society’s Robert McLellan Tassie award for the best short story in Scots.

Tony Bonning was born into a Scots-speaking, Carrick farming family in 1948. He has written several best-selling books and is a noted storyteller and musician. In his persona as Aiken Drum he has performed thousands of shows for children. Tony is the founder of the Galloway Children’s Festival, the Play-it-by-Ear music groups and co-founder of the poetry magazine, Markings. In 2002 he was part of the group that established the popular Wickerman Festival. He enjoys nothing more than hillwalking  and writing poetry.

Lorna Cowan has worked in publishing, writing for magazines and websites, for over 24 years. She was an editor for 14 of these years, most recently for Which? Travel. She moved to Charmouth in 2014 with her husband and dog, having spent the past two decades exploring much of west Dorset. She is now a full-time freelance writer, contributing to numerous magazines.


John Kellie was born in Ayrshire and educated at Pinmore, Kilmarnock and Glasgow. An enthusiastic outdoorsman and freelance writer, over the years his work has found its way into a variety of magazines on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. He taught secondary school English for the best part of three decades, both in Scotland and Canada, until a brush with malaria in the jungles of New Guinea prompted a rethink and he is now writing and travelling full-time.


Jimmy McGhee was born in Ayr in 1951 and grew up in Cumnock. He received his education at St John’s Primary in the town, followed by St Joseph’s High School in Kilmarnock. He attended Kilmarnock Technical College on a one-year pre-apprenticeship course, on 14 August 1967 becoming an apprentice with Pollock at Mauchline. He remained there until his death, which took place on 25 September 2023.


Dr Yvonne McFadden is a lecturer at the University of Strathclyde where she is co-director of the Scottish Oral History Centre. Yvonne supports oral history projects working with community groups and heritage organisations. Her research focuses on gender, work, housing and everyday domestic life in Scotland.

Ailsa M. McInnes is from a long line of tenant farmers from Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, their final farm being Mid Auchinleck. Having an Ayrshire name herself, perhaps it was inevitable that Ailsa would spend most of her adult life there. Her Ayrshire kin were Lambies, tailors from Mauchline. From childhood she had a keen interest in Family and Local History. Ailsa gained a history degree from Edinburgh University followed by several years of practical archaeology throughout Scotland and abroad. A postgraduate librarianship qualification from Aberystwyth University led to a career as a Children’s Librarian in East and then South Ayrshire. Research apart, Ailsa is a keen swimmer, plays walking football, sings in a choir and is found in the Auchinleck Estate every day with her ‘twa dogs’.

Arthur McIvor is Professor of Social History and co-director of the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde. Amongst his published books are Jobs and Bodies: An Oral History of Health and Safety in Britain, Working Lives and Miners’ Lung (with Ronald Johnston).

Ian McMurdo was born in May 1949, the son of a coal miner. He was brought up in New Cumnock, Ayrshire. When he was four years old, he moved with his family to a housing estate in nearby Logan Toll. He was educated in Lugar Primary School, Cumnock Academy, Strathclyde University and Jordanhill College from which he emerged in 1972 as a qualified chemistry teacher. After sixteen years in the teaching profession, Ian moved into local government management and was later appointed Director of Education for West Dunbartonshire Council in 1995. After nine years at the helm, he took voluntary early retirement in 2004 to set up his own management consultancy business, IQual Consultancy, which he operates in partnership with a few trusted colleagues. Ian lives at Kildonan on Arran (his 'favourite place on the planet') with his Labrador retrievers. He has two grown-up children, Jillian and Derek. Ian is a well-known educational commentator, public speaker, Burns enthusiast and occasional journalist.

Margaret Morrell was born in Ayrshire and lived near Kirkoswald. She was married to Tony, and they have three grown up children, Edward, Douglas, and Jessica and seven grandchildren. She was an avid amateur historian who spent years researching her family history, discovering a long line of ancestors through five centuries.

Margaret and Tony founded a blacksmithing business in 1990 which now has its workshop in one of the original WWII buildings at Turnberry. Always keen to know more about the history of Turnberry Airfield, she spent many years in correspondence with the airmen who trained there, and on several occasions opened her home to those aged aviators who wished to revisit their youth at Turnberry. She was a well-known speaker on the subject of Turnberry to local groups, clubs and schools. Margaret’s interests included travel, history, research, and motorcycling, not necessarily all at the same time! Margaret Morrell died on 28 October 2021.

Marie Shevlin was born and lived for most of her life in Dalry, Ayrshire but now lives in Kilwinning with her partner, Douglas.  She was educated at St Palladius Primary School, St Michael’s Academy and Glasgow University (where she studied Chemistry and Psychology) before becoming a Careers Officer.  She later retrained at Craigie College/Strathclyde University as a primary teacher and had a varied career working in primary schools and pre-5 centres, often with children with additional support needs.  She also worked for a while at Renfrewshire Council Education headquarters.  She has two sons and three grandsons.  When she retired, her interest in genealogy expanded from her Irish ancestors to include the industrial history of Dalry. Her other interests include playing with her grandsons, dancing, walking, gardening, studying French, Yoga and vegetarian cooking.