Pensioner Peter prepares for winter time

Loanhead pensioner Peter Collins is ready for whatever winter throws at him
Loanhead pensioner Peter Collins is ready for whatever winter throws at him

One of Midlothian’s true community champions, Peter Collins, is throwing his weight behind the Ready for Winter campaign.

Voted Walking Football’s Player of the Year in Midlothian, Peter (84) is not only a whizz on the sports field, he is an expert on how to take winter by storm.

Peter, who also stands in for Santa a whopping 20 times each year, has opened up his Loanhead home, his cupboards and the boot of his car to show us his top tips on surviving the big freeze.

He says that while winter can be a worrying time for some residents when the temperatures drop below freezing: “Hopefully, we can have a bit of fun with this too.”

Peter, a member of Loanhead and District Community Council, is guiding us through a winter checklist for home.

Here’s a list of what you might need in the house:

l Your household plan, including emergency contact numbers;

l A battery-operated torch and spare batteries (or a wind-up torch);

l A battery-operated radio and spare batteries (or a wind up-radio);

l Any essential medication, some toiletries and a first-aid kit;

l Bottled water and ready-to-eat food (that won’t go off);

l Food supplies;

l  Copies of important documents like insurance policies and birth certificates;

l Pencil, paper, a penknife and a whistle;

l Spare keys to your home and car;

l Spare glasses or contact lenses.

Councillor Derek Rosie (SNP), the cabinet member for winter services, said: “We rely on residents, like Peter, to do their bit during winter by, for example, clearing the pavement of snow outside their home, if able, and keeping an eye on vulnerable neighbours.

“We’re delighted to have Peter on board this year.

“As well as his tips, residents can also find plenty of information on our website such as our gritting routes, and emergency telephone numbers for sister agencies such as Scottish Water.”

To follow Peter’s weekly tips go to