Stinchar Valley Magazine

Stinchar Valley Magazine is a free, popular quarterly community magazine serving Ballantrae, Barr, Barrhill, Colmonell, Lendalfoot, Pinwherry and Pinmore in South Ayrshire.

It was born out of the Pinmore and Pinwherry Community Newsletter which kept residents informed about various events and news around the village, such as social occasions, travel notices and useful information about local business and services. 

Nearby villages were inspired by the success of the newsletter and decided to work together to share one publication across all communities in the Stinchar Valley area.

It is a much valued community resource for residents of all ages and backgrounds, particularly for older people who don’t get out and about as much as they might like to. It is also well received by local families, individuals and young people who want to know about upcoming events, job opportunities, local clubs and activities. Local businesses have the opportunity to showcase their products and services, and schools also use the magazine to share their success stories. The magazine also has the support of locally elected councillors who use it as a means to share regular updates and information with their constituents.

Contributions are welcomed from all communities. Some form simple notices, announcements and news items. Others take shape in more feature-style articles – some editions have included fantastic short stories and poems. This is perhaps one of the best features of the magazine, in that is doesn’t follow a conventional style or format but rather is relaxed and adapts to suit the wants and needs of its readers. 

The magazine and its production is entirely dependent on a committee of nine local residents and a core team of volunteers who solicit articles and compile content. Although once done in-house, printing is now outsourced due to increased circulation with around 1000 copies of each edition being produced.

Volunteers from each village also undertake to hand deliver copies of the magazine around their communities, which serves to show their commitment to the publication and its readers.   Some additional copies are posted and a digital edition emailed to locals where it’s simply not possible for them to be hand delivered. A copy is also put on local villages’ websites, such as 2 Pins and Stinchar Valley. 

Volunteers are keen to ensure the magazine is accessible and reaches as wide an audience as possible. Some copies are stocked in local shops, doctors’ surgeries, care homes for the elderly, libraries and in Ballantrae Information Centre.

The magazine is an important part of community life in the Stinchar Valley. It fosters a great sense of team work amongst its contributors and volunteers who dedicate so much time and energy to ensure it is a success. It is also a much needed practical resource which keeps all members of the community up to date and involved in what’s happening in their local area, regardless of their location or ability. In addition, it serves a very practical purpose, sharing useful information about what services and activities are available such as mother and toddler groups and various sports clubs and activities. It fosters a real sense of community spirit – sharing images and recording great memories of gala days and community events all year round. 

In 2012 and 2013 Stinchar Valley Magazine received a grant from Carrick futures (£6707 and £8391, respectively) towards the costs of printing and distributing the magazine.

John McAlley, Editor of Stinchar Valley magazine, said, “We at the Stinchar Valley Magazine are here to support our community, we have enjoyed the production and the development of the magazine and up to now have resisted suggestions to charge for our advertising space or for the magazine itself.

We are very aware that our continued existence depends not only on the continued support from the community we serve but very much from Carrick Futures and Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Funds, which have allowed us to grow and to include more colour and space into the magazine, without these funds, we would not be here!”