This week, we lost a man who dedicated so much of his life to improving and caring for Penicuik and the town will not quite be the same without him.
Current Provost of Midlothian Council, and long term Labour councillor for Penicuik, Adam Montgomery passed away at the age of 67 this week following a short illness.
Originally from Ayrshire, Adam Montgomery called Penicuik home for 36 years, raising his three children in the town and marrying his local born wife. Mr Montgomery, who in an article for the Penicuik Cuckoo, said he had Penicuik “in his heart and soul” represented the town for over 31 years in Lothian Region and Midlothian Councils. He was re-elected to Midlothian Council in May last year and served most recently as the Provost, a role that he has undertaken before.
In this age of great uncertainty for Penicuik, Adam Montgomery stood as a beacon of hope, determined to protect our identity and community. Above all, he believed in the town and fought for it until the very end.
Without the contribution of Adam Montgomery, the Penicuik that stands today could have looked very different. He helped deliver new primary schools, extensions and refurbishments to others and when facilities were threatened with closure he fought hard to keep them as part of the community. Adam played a crucial role in the transferal of Ladywood Leisure Centre to community ownership and when Midlothian Council proposed a merger of the town’s two High Schools, he joined the parents and pupils in opposition, helping them to overturn the decision and save their schools.
Adam Montgomery was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in and what was right for his constituents. He successfully led the campaign against the introduction of a congestion charge in Edinburgh, which in his words would have unfairly punished Midlothian’s commuters and had also been a strong proponent of reintroducing a railway line to the town, commissioning independent research into the matter. Sadly, he did not live to see this but his downright determination means that he has left the reintroduction closer than it has ever been, with Midlothian Council agreeing before Christmas to bring forward proposals to fully investigate the infrastructure project.
As a keen football supporter, Adam Montgomery was also crucial to the redevelopment of Penicuik’s public park and the resurrection of Penicuik Athletic in 2002. He brought in £1.2M to install floodlighting, changing rooms and a new ground for the club along with a new skatepark for the community. Adam also sought to commemorate the town’s rich history and found funding to create a monument to the men who lost their lives in the Mauricewood Pit tragedy.
Penicuik owes a great deal of gratitude to a man who would do anything, and did do anything, to see the town succeed. He leaves behind a legacy of compassion and community that we must strive to uphold. As he did, we must fight for Penicuik, protect our schools and our services and create a thriving society not that of a commuter town but of the little eighteenth century village in our heart.
So Adam, thank you for standing up for and believing in Penicuik throughout the years. We will miss you dearly. Penicuik has lost a true local.
The Penicuik Cuckoo would like to extend its deepest sympathies to Adam Montgomery’s wife, three children and his wider family and friends.