Pud bids farewell to Penicuik leisure centre
Mr Ramage, widely known as Pud, had been duty officer at the Ladywood Centre for 20 years when he stepped into the managerial post 15 years ago, at a time when the centre was under threat of closure by the local council.
A popular campaign involving Pud, Ladywood staff and users, and the wider community in Penicuik was successful in keeping it open.
During his tenure Pud has undertaken a range of roles alongside managing the centre, including running children’s football classes which has made him well known and well-loved to those growing up in Penicuik over the years.
To mark Pud’s departure, local poet Burns Scott penned a piece called ‘Ode to Pud’, paying tribute to all his hard work over the years serving the community and how he led the campaign to keep the centre open.
Here is an excerpt from the piece: “Pud’s appointment as manager, was the start of the road. For the centre’s success, came through his dedication, by making the centre peoples favourite location…
“Adopting a programme, that would suit all who attended. Whether adults or children, a welcome was extended. Could mention all clubs, he has formed to date, these mentioned on website, interested, don’t hesitate…”
Local MSP Christine Grahame (SNP) joined people from across Penicuik in wishing Pud a fond farewell.
She said: “I’ve known Pud since I entered parliament in 1999 and he’s been a Penicuik institution for longer than that. Along with his dedicated colleagues, Pud is the heart of the Ladywood Centre – even at his farewell party I lost count of all the children still running up to say hello.
“I’ve seen him work incredibly hard to promote the centre and to ensure it’s meeting demand from the local community, putting in a huge amount of hours and effort. It’s people like Pud who make communities.
“Whilst he’ll be sorely missed, I know this retirement is well deserved and I wish him all the best for the coming years.
"I know he’s a big Hearts and Scotland football fan so hopefully he’ll have a bit more time to get to matches now (although time will tell if the results make it worth it)!”