Comparing Penicuik past and present

Jim Neil with his books on Penicuik
Jim Neil with his books on Penicuik

Jim Neil lived in Penicuik for 25 years. He grew up in Pryde’s Place, went to school in the town, and worked at the Valleyfield papermill.

The sprightly 84-year-old still has vivid memories of his quarter century in the community and has decided to put pen to paper for a second time.

“It really started about four years ago when I was going through old photographs of the old Esk Bridge area where I was born.

“It occurred to me there would come a time in the not too distant future that people won’t remember the place. It would be a vanished community and there would be no memories of it.

“I thought I would get a few copies printed. My intention wasn’t to sell it to the public but leave something with the historical society and Penicuik Community Development Trust.”

Jim’s first book, ‘The Claes Pole’, was a resounding success with the 100 copies selling out within a week. His experience spurred him on to share more of his Penicuik memories.

“Last year I thought I would do a personal piece about Penicuik and decided to call it ‘Messages from the Store - Memories of Old Penicuik’.

Full story in this week’s Advertiser. On sale now.