Help your kids to get reading

There is no better way to get your kids involved in books than by setting an example. Let them see you enjoying books. Take them to your local library – it’s free and there’s loads of kids’ activities to keep them busy.


Even if they’re too young to read – it’s the early years that are so important for starting a reading habit.

Read to them as often as possible and get them out to storytelling events.

We’ve got the very thing for 3 year olds and up.

Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook brings stories and songs and lots of fun!

Saturday 24 September 11.00-12.00
Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Family Tickets £5 (for 4)

Get your tickets in person at HAC or by phone 01294 274 059 (no booking fee) or click here.

Kids get up close to books with Tidelines

Ever wonder how to get your kids to put down their phones and discover the joy of reading? For the fourth year running, Tidelines Book Festival in North Ayrshire is working with North Ayrshire Council to provide exciting and stimulating events with real-life authors to encourage young people to get involved with books.

As part of this year’s September festival, three well-known authors will be working with classes, explaining how they got started and reading from their own work. Jonathan Meres (The World of Norm series), Stuart Reid (Gorgeous George and numerous Scottish history books for young people) and Andy Briggs (Polybius: The Urban Legend) are exciting and innovative authors, who will provide six sessions in North Ayrshire schools. Storyteller Mrs Mash will deliver two sessions for early years classes.

mrs mash (3 of 4)

Free books for children will be provided by Tidelines, with support from the Scottish Book Trust and the Big Lottery.

Meeting an inspirational author can open up new worlds, help you to have new experiences and test new ideas. It can be something to take with you for the rest of your life. Tidelines is providing a fantastic opportunity to open young minds.

The youngest members of the family will not be left out. Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, Mrs Mash the Storytelling Cook will be entertaining with songs, stories and fun for 3 year olds and up at the Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine on

Saturday 24 September at 11.00-12.00

Tickets £5 per family (4) from HAC tel: 01294 274059 (no booking fee) or clicking here.

Sponsored by the Marina Inn and Harbourside Hotel

Chris Brookmyre wins McIlvanney crime book prize

A new award named in honour of the crime writer William McIlvanney has been won by author Chris Brookmyre.


The McIlvanney Prize – previously known as the Scottish Crime Book of the year – was presented at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling.

Brookmyre took the £1,000 prize for his novel Black Widow. He will be at the Harbour Arts Centre with Tidelines on Saturday 24 September at 7.30pm

The other short-listed authors were Doug Johnston, Val McDermid and ES Thomson.

Judges described Brookmyre’s novel as being “like watching Olympic diving”, adding: “Just when you think the plot can’t twist again, it takes a new turn. Even the twists have twists.”

William Mcilvanney, who died last year, is regarded by many as the founder of tartan noir, a particularly Scottish style of gritty crime writing.

His brother, renowned sports journalist Hugh McIlvanney, presented Brookmyre with the inaugural award.

 (Source: BBC News 09/09/16)

Remembering Sam

This story of remarkable achievements is told by people closely associated with Sam in different stages and in different ways in his life – as colleagues, friends and family. Contributors include politicians Alistair Darling and Brian Wilson, Muriel Gray, Sir Harry Burns, Harpreet Kholi, and many others.

Presented by Sir Graham Teasdale.


Remembering Sam

Long before he was a front-line politician, Sam Galbraith was a man who inspired respect and sometimes awe among those whose lives he touched.

 A brilliant Glasgow neurosurgeon whose cutting-edge skills saved numerous lives; an unswerving champion of the National Health Service and the principles which underpin it;  a fearless mountaineer who diced with danger.

When at the peak of his powers, Sam was struck by illness and came within days of death before receiving a lung transplant. Many years later, he was believed to be the world’s longest surviving lung transplant patient.

In 1987, he had become a Labour politician, believing that by utilising his knowledge and beliefs in this way, they could have the greatest lasting impact. He was an MP and then MSP, holding Ministerial office at both Westminster and Holyrood. In everything Sam did, he made a difference.

 Sam died in 2014 at the age of 68 but his many legacies live on. This book recalls his life and work – as a doctor, mountaineer, politician and family man. It follows his journey from Greenock to Westminster and Holyrood with diversions along the way to outposts such as Texas and the Himalayas.

 It will serve not only as a collective tribute to an outstanding individual but also as an inspiration to those who aspire to following the paths he trod.

Saturday 24 September 6.00pm

Scottish Maritime Museum, Linthouse Building

Tickets £5 – Book here

All proceeds of ticket and book sales go to Transplant Sport

David Ross with BBC’s Theresa Talbot

Fresh from his tour of Germany, David Ross talks about The Last Days of Disco and his new book The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas. Both are set in 1980s Ayrshire. In conversation with Theresa Talbot – promises to be witty, entertaining, and “the closest you’ll ever get to being on Top of the Pops”


The Last Days of Disco is about the power of the 45rpm vinyl record and the small but significant part it played in an Ayrshire community in 1982. A simply stunning debut novel.

‘Full of comedy, pathos and great tunes’ Hardeep Singh Kohli

‘Warm, funny and evocative. If you grew up in the Eighties, you’re going to love this’ Chris Brookmyre

Saturday 24 September 2.00pm – 3.00pm

Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Get your tickets in person, by phone 01294 274059 or click here

Catherine Czerkawska

A luscious historical novel, The Jewel brings to glorious life the dramatic years of Jean Armour and Robert Burns’ courtship, and their tempestuous, passionate married life, against a background simmering with political intrigue and turmoil. Jean, a beautiful young woman with the voice of a nightingale, set young Rab’s heart aflame from the first. Jean’s father tried to protect her from the advances of the mercurial ploughman-poet, whose roving eye was notorious. But she would not be kept from him. Their marriage endured against all odds, its rocky course revealing Jean’s indomitable strength and character. How Jean lived with – and frequently without – her famous husband is surely Scotland’s greatest love story.

Spend an hour with Catherine Czerkawska and find out how she discovered the secrets behind this fascinating relationship.


The Jewel

The story of Robert Burns’ wife,

Jean Armour.

Sunday 25 September at 1.30pm

Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Blood, Salt, Water

Salt water lifts blood. Only salt water.

Loch Lomond is a mile deep but the woman’s body surfaced anyway. Found bludgeoned and dumped in the water, she now haunts Iain Fraser, the man who put her there. She trusted him and now that misplaced trust is gnawing through Iain’s chest. He thinks it will kill him.


Only £5 for a spine-chilling hour spent in the company of award-winning author Denise Mina.

Sunday 25 September at 7.00pm

Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Tidelines 2016 launched

Press, media, sponsors and friends came to the Harbour Arts Centre for the official launch of our 2016 brochure. Publisher and author Keith Charters, the Festival Chairman, announced this year’s line up of events as being “the best ever”. From crime to comedy, history to satire, with a generous sprinkling of sports personalities – there’s something for everyone. There’s even a world premiere in the Harbour Theatre. Children are not left out, with a programme of author visits to schools, as well as a family event featuring Mrs Mash, the storytelling cook.

All events last about an hour, so there’s plenty of time to take in more than one, and value-for-money seats mean that you have no excuses. Tickets are selling fast – don’t get left behind!

9037be8e-90aa-4fdd-85f1-ca360162a2d2Keith Charters heads the Tidelines volunteers who are working hard to bring you North Ayrshire’s independent book festival.




Our new brochure will be popping up everywhere soon, look out for it! or click on the picture →




Award-winning crime writer Douglas Skelton spoke of his writing about true-life murderers and criminals, as well as his fictional books about Glasgow’s underworld.

The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas

David Ross in conversation with Theresa Talbot

Saturday 24 September 2.00pm in Harbour Arts Centre

Tickets £5 from HAC or on Ticketweb

the riseWhen a young Ayrshire band miraculously hits the big time with the smash hit record of 1984, international stardom beckons. That’s despite having a delusional teenage manager propelled by a dark, malign voice in his head. Can Max Mojo’s band of talented social misfits repeat the success and pay back the mounting debts accrued from an increasingly agitated cartel of local gangsters? Or will they have to kidnap Boy George and hope for the best? (

If you love crime writers, here’s 4 of the best

Four of the best of Scotland’s crime writers are coming to Tidelines.
23-25 September – keep those dates free if you dare!
Tickets available soon.

Black Widow

Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain’s leading crime novelists.

His new psychological thriller Black Widow, starring the legendary Jack Parlabane, is perfect for readers of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

There is no perfect marriage.

There is no perfect murder.

Image 05-07-2016 at 23.11 


24 September 7.30pm

Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Tickets £8

Into the Heart of Darkness

Modern crime fiction is said to hold up a mirror to the problems of modern society. Two of Scotland’s up-and-coming voices, Douglas Skelton and

Michael J Malone, discuss how this point of view is reflected in their writing . . . and how an injection of humour can lighten the darkness.

Image 05-07-2016 at 23.12 


24 September 4.30pm

Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Tickets £5

Blood Salt Water

Denise Mina‘s first novel, Garnethill, published in 1998, won the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Dagger for Best Fisrt Crime Novel. She now has 12 novels published and in 2014 she was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame. Denise comes to Irvine to talk about Blood Salt Water,  her crime novel set in Helensburgh. She is coming to explain why she set it in Helensburgh . . . and not in Irvine.

Image 05-07-2016 at 23.14

Sunday 25 September 7.00pm

Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine

Tickets £5