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About us

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 won't 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 subedits. David Sterratt and John Dickie (the latter a founder and former editor) created this website; David looks after its workings and appearance; Caroline Roussot proof-reads and manages distribution; Mike Orr provides technical support and coordinates advertising.  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), Caroline Roussot (Distribution), Mike Orr (Advertising), Ella Taylor-Smith (Minister 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 online.

For subscriptions (£15 or whatever you can afford; £22 for postal deliveries), cheques should made out to Spurtle and 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 – email us and we'll forward details.

Contact us

By post at: Spurtle, c/o The Yard, 61–3 Broughton Street, Edinburgh EH1 3RJ, UK
By telephone at: 07455 770474
By email at:
Payment or CONTRIBUTIONS by electronic transfer: account details available on request.

Since 2020 Spurtle has been a member of the Independent Community News Network. As such we have a standard complaints process which you can read about here: Written complaints should be addressed to the Editor.

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 Quarter, Greenside, St Andrew Square, George Street and the old Royal High School site on Calton Road.

Map of Broughton with 'Greater Spurtleshire' outlined in red

View Broughton in a larger map on Google .