Bellman Holiday Update

By Jane Cruickshank / January 12, 2020
placid sea atmospheric sunset sky over downie point

ALMOST exactly one year from first posting on The Bellman I’m taking a holiday from the website – but with a happy heart as our Stonehaven news project seems to be a success.

We’ve relied on word of mouth marketing and Facebook shares to reach our reading audience. The numbers have grown month on month.

Last January 1,279 folk found The Bellman. By December, our unique visitor numbers had reached 7,655 for the month.

And during 2019, we had over one and a quarter million hits – 1,261,269 to be exact.

Thank you to all our contributors – I hope you agree The Bellman is proving to be a useful tool to reach interested Stonehaven folk.

Who is reading what – and when

The site statistics make for interesting – and brutal – reading. We can see exactly how many people are reading which story. The Road Ahead For Ury story and the Mearns Rover’s Memory Lanes have been two recent attention grabbers.

And we can also see when you are reading. All I can say is tut, tut. Lots of you seem to get to work and read the news – 9am is the daily peak for hits to the site!

As for where you are sitting with your phone, pc or laptop, clearly most are in the GB, with Bulgaria being a somewhat surprising second place followed by USA, Sweden and Ireland.

What next for The Bellman?

The Bellman is a not for profit volunteer website. We are in the process of forming ourselves into a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation – a SCIO.

Once that is done, we can register with the BBC, who employ local democracy reporters and whose content you can already read in local newspapers. This will add to the ‘in house’ reporting on our local authorities and associated matters.

We’ll also be able to tap into a bit of sponsorship to enable us to cover costs and improve the site.

It is only a small team of volunteers who attend to the site – myself, my husband John who takes photographs, George Reid who looks after facebook, and Martin Sim and Lisa Lawman, who both post content.

For The Bellman to be a viable long-term platform, more volunteers are needed. If you’d like to join The Bellman team then please email

Anyway myself and my husband John are going to enjoy a couple of weeks’ break fom The Bellman. But we’ll be back and raring to go in February.