Ayrshire’s people in print

An author who was educated in Pinmore in his youth has just released his first book and it’s all about the wonderful history of Ayrshire’s people and places.

John Kellie’s “Ayrshire Echoes” is available to buy for £10 from Amazon and is also stocked in the Waterstones branch in Ayr.

John’s book is a collection of tales associated with the whole of Ayrshire with many of them exploring the Carrick area itself.

John said: “I first started producing material which I’ve used in it in 2005, but I retired from my job last June so I’ve really been working on it full time for the last year.

“I’m interested in the countryside, I’m interested in the past and I’m interested in the lives of ordinary people particularly in rural areas and that’s largely what the book is devoted to.

“I’ve tried to concentrate on ordinary people as their stories tend to get forgotten and I think that’s a pity so I’ve tried to do something about that.”

Over the years John has been a freelance writer and his work has been published in a number of magazines both at home and abroad.

He says the interest in the book dawned on him when he was travelling the world.

“I started off in travel writing and eventually it sort of dawned on me when I was writing about places at the far end of the globe like the Himalayas and New Guinea, I know more about my home area and I should be writing about my home area.

“There was a lot of reading behind the book, reading forgotten books and speaking to people and visiting places.”

John said that people were more than welcoming in helping him out in his research.

“I’m surprised at how much people do know about the history of this area and I think there is an interest in the past. Often they’ve been able to tell me things I didn’t know about.”

John’s book, which has been published by Carn Publishing includes tales about the Ailsa Craig Pigeon post, details on the stones of Knockbain near Lendalfoot as well as the fabulous tale of Hugh Sloan, who discovered a treasure pot in the Stinchar Valley.