Spurtle is the hyperlocal community newspaper for Broughton in North/Central Edinburgh (see the map below for our news and distribution area outlined in red). We aim to accurately report local affairs, raise issues, publicise the work of local action groups, make connections between 'the news' and Broughton life ... and generally stir things up a bit. (A Scots spurtle is a wooden rod for stirring porridge. Some readers may be 'spurtle-leggit' – have thin, spindly legs.)
We'll support people looking for a fair deal but not protect privilege. We're not beholden to any commercial entity or connected to any political or religious group. We are a not-for-profit organisation run by unpaid volunteers, funded through advertising and annual subscriptions from supporters.
Spurtle began in February 1994. It was put together by a small group of locals inspired by the success of the anti-Poll Tax campaign, the unsuccessful struggle to save London Street Primary School, and the achievements of local residents associations.
Who does what
Alan McIntosh is the Spurtle’s editor and a regular contributor. Maria Hart handles layout and production. Tim Smith does proof/copyediting. David Sterratt and John Dickie (the latter a founder and former editor) created this website; David looks after its workings and appearance; Mike Orr provides technical support.
Over the last year, the Spurtle has benefited from 30-40 contributors per month. Regulars include: Miles Forde, Rhys Fullerton, David Hill, John Ross MacLean, Alan McIntosh, Lisa Rogers, Caroline Roussot, David Sterratt, Fred Street, Ella Taylor-Smith, Left-Handed Tea Drinker and David Young. The paper edition is distributed by half a dozen people.
These are not exclusive or permanent arrangements: new team members, contributors and potential editors are welcome to get involved. We actively encourage readers' continued supply of news, opinions, ideas, help and enthusiasm.
For the purposes of feedback, oversight and holding a bank account, Spurtle has a Board comprising: Alan McIntosh (Chair), Maria Hart (Treasurer), David Sterratt (Secretary), Rhys Fullerton and Ella Taylor-Smith (Ministers without Portfolio).
We publish in 3 formats: print (distributed free throughout Broughton via newsagents, a wide variety of shops, pubs and cafés), pdf (emailed to subscribers), and now online. Subscriptions (£15 or whatever you can afford; £22 for postal deliveries) run from October to October. Cheques made out to Spurtle can be left at our postal address (below), along with a note of where printed or pdf copies should be delivered. Alternatively, you can pay by electronic transfer using the account details below.
By post at: Spurtle, c/o Narcissus Flowers, 87 Broughton Street, Edinburgh EH1 3RJ, UK
By telephone at: 0131 556 4848
By email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment or CONTRIBUTIONS by electronic transfer: account details available on request.
Where we cover
Spurtleshire is a fairly elastic concept, covering Broughton, parts of Bonnington and Stockbridge, and anywhere else nearby where there's an interesting or important story affecting local people.
We have a keen interest in Warriston Cemetery, the Royal Botanic Garden, Calton Hill and Pilrig Park. We also keep a close eye on events in the St James Centre, St Andrew Square, George Street and the old Royal High School site on Calton Road.