731 Days of Cuckoo
It has been 1,052,640 minutes since we first graced your computer screens back in February 2012, and I wouldn’t change one moment of it, although there have been times that I’d rather forget.
Hello reader. If you don’t know me, I am Thomas Scott, the editor and for most of the two years, I have been the sole contributor to The Penicuik Cuckoo (not saying there aren’t others, of who I’m very grateful of, but I’ll talk about them later).
The Penicuik Cuckoo is my creation, formed to provide Penicuik with relevant local news along with event and sport coverage. I wanted to provide the community with a source which was delivered by a local for locals, and I feel that we have provided a service which is at least a little reminiscent of how news used to be delivered back when everyone was an integral part of the community.
So lets go back then, to the beginning when my fledgling took flight. It is February 2012 and we have just delivered our first story about Taylor Wimpey’s Greenlaw Mill development (can you believe it has been going that long). We were the first news outlet to break the announcement that a housing developer wanted to significantly extend the town, much to the dismay of the neighbouring residents, and our place at the forefront of breaking local news has been maintained. However at times it has developed a lot faster than we have been capable of keeping up with, mainly with highly emotive events, but we have pushed through, apologised where necessary and put in place the infrastructure to cope with the pace.
Our dedication to keep residents updated about Taylor Wimpey’s development has been praised by those who neighbour the site. They were not getting answers from the council or the house builder and so we’ve provided an outlet where you can get those answers.
We did the same for the Mount Lothian Wind Farm development and provided you with one of the most in depth news articles on the website, which was used by high school pupils to develop their views on the matter. Now the application is back, we’ll be sure to keep you updated from both sides.
The Penicuckoo has brought you three published newspapers, albeit not known to the majority of Penicuik, but that is my fault. I lacked the funds to create marketing campaigns, and the workforce to deliver to every door, but after all, we are a not for profit venture and always have been. It was a great experience to publish a newspaper; to feel your work in your hands. I’d recommend it to anyone but be prepared for late nights and stressed emails to your advertisers, who naturally want five thousand drafts of their advert. I remember delivering issue one of the paper all the way back in May 2012. It was tiring and not without a dog eating the paper as it went through the letterbox! Unfortunately I’ll likely not have the honour of bringing you another printed paper but upon our demise we’ll open source our new layout to you all so that if you want to try and print a paper you can.
In June 2012 we also got to cover the Olympic torch relay, a once in a lifetime opportunity. My time as editor has not been without once in a lifetime opportunities however, with Penicuik being at a turning point of whether it will sink or swim. I believe it will swim. Do you know why? It’s because of you. We’re two years old! That is testament to the support the town is able to give a new venture. One thousand six hundred locals alone are enough to support a new start up. So Penicuik, when we reach 787 days, and we sign off for the last time, I want you to promise that you’ll support the next business that comes along, regardless of what it is. Everyone behind a new business deserves the chance to try, and with your help, they can do a lot more than try, they can succeed.
I digress. Unfortunately for every positive story (if you can call them that) there has been an upsetting one. I’ve typed two too many soldier bereavement articles. The deaths of local soldiers have been a cruel reminder of our town’s influence across the world. However many towns don’t have any influence in their country, let alone across the world, and we should be proud of our little former paper making village, even if it isn’t a village any longer.
Now time is running out now for this old bird. It’s flying off to new lands. However one day it may return because, after all, this is the hill of the cuckoo.
Thank you for your friendship, readership and support Penicuik.
Editor & Founder