Priscilla Beaton, née Russell, 82, was born in Penicuik, and lived there until she married and moved with her husband Ewan to Edinburgh when she was 18. Now a widow living at Edinburgh City Council’s Porthaven Care Home, she recalls growing up in the village.
“Penicuik was a great village. My dad, William, was the beadle in the church in Penicuik, and he and my sister were in the church choir. I wasn’t because I couldn’t sing a note but I went to all the functions they put on.
“I was five or five-and-a-half when I went to the first one, I was so excited. My dad and my sister, Christina, came on in evening dress. I was in the front row and I shouted out: ‘There’s my dad.’ I got such a clout. My mother just about hit the roof. ‘I’m not bringing you back again,’ she said.
“I went to school in Penicuik, then after I left school I started working in the Co-operative in Penicuik, I worked in the bakery. Dances were held at various institutes in the village but I wasn’t allowed to go to all of them. Dad wouldn’t let me go to one because it was where all the soldiers went from Glencorse.”
But there was another which she visited with her friend May who was the daughter of the beadle at another church in the village.
“It was a smashing place, very harmless,” she says. She and May would get ready at her parents’ home on Pentland Terrace before two farmers’ sons would call. “They would knock at my mother’s door and wait at the gate for us.”