Penicuik is a town and former burgh in Midlothian, on the west bank of the River North Esk. It lies on the A701 road midway between Edinburgh and Peebles, east of the Pentland Hills.
The town's name is pronounced 'Pennycook' and is derived from Pen Y Cog, meaning "Hill of the Cuckoo" in the Old Brythonic language, and is Scotland's 50th largest town. (population:almost 16,000) The town was well known for its paper mills, the last of which closed in 2004 and more recently home to the Edinburgh Crystal works.
Penicuik Athletic formed in 1888 following a meeting at the town's Royal Hotel. The club became founder members of the East of Scotland League in 1893, before adopting Junior status in 1904 and a name change to Penicuik Juniors.
In 1930 the club reverted back to the seniors, winning the East of Scotland League in 1931-32 as well as the King’s Cup in 1936. They won the Border Cup in 1950, just before relocating to a new ground and a return to the Juniors.
After a couple of semi-final defeats, Penicuik finally reached the final of the Junior Cup in 1970. Cuikie overcame seven West Region clubs to reach the final, before drawing 1-1 with Blantyre Victoria in front of a gate of over 30,000 at Hampden Park.(including my pal James) Unfortunately on the following Tuesday night, they narrowly lost the replay in front of a crowd of 14,225.
They were East Region Division One winners in 1978–79 and 1980–81 before the club's fortunes fell into decline with mounting debts, which forced the closure of the Social Club in 1986. Despite the off-field problems, the team kept going until the ground was sold on to be developed into a supermarket, which now stands on the Eastfield Park site.
Throughout the 1990's several schemes were undertaken to secure a new pitch, but for a variety of reasons were unsuccessful. The club finally returned in 2002 with a new ground in the town centre and were reinstated into the East Region Juniors, following the introduction of the Super League.
In 2004-05 the Lothian League Division 2 was won and the East Region Premier League title was achieved in 2013-14, before the exodus of East Junior clubs to the East of Scotland Football League in 2018.
Athletic were placed in Conference A, finishing the season as champions and into the East of Scotland Championship Playoffs. Cuikie finished second to rivals Bonnyrigg Rose in the three-way round robin, with Broxburn Athletic being the other side that missed out. Penicuik Athletic were then granted their SFA Licence, which brought with it entry into the Scottish Cup, commencing from the 2019–20 season.
114-116 John St,
Current East of Scotland Premier League grounds visited 11/18
Total number of Scottish grounds visited 114
Penicuik originally played at Hays Park, before moving to Eastfield Park in 1951, which was previously owned by the Shotts Iron Company. Their new home was built on the public park, and now has covered enclosures running down one side and behind the goal, with the other half open. There are admission entrances on John Street and via the park, with The Cukie Cafe refreshment bar in the corner.
Penicuik Athletic 2(Reid 57,90+2)
Linlithgow Rose 1(Stowe 76pen)
East of Scotland Premier Division matchday 34
2nd v 3rd
Spondoolicks: Coffee £1 Steak pie £1.50(So nice that Mark had 3!!!) chocolate 50p
Penicuik went into this final match of the season in second position and level on points with leaders Tranent. As Tranent had a far superior goal difference, they simply had to better their result. As it happens the title league was settled by half time, with this match still goalless and Tranent two goals to the good.
The home team went ahead in the 57th minute with a lovely curled shot from Nicky Reid, but the visitors equalised from the penalty spot after two separate fouls in the box. The hosts wrapped up an exciting season, finishing as league runners-up with a great passing move headed home by Reid in added on time.
130 miles door-to-door (via Waverley)
0849 LNER train Newcastle - Edinburgh arriving 1025
2000 LNER return train, arriving home at 2145.
After a three year hiatus, the traditional end of season meet up with Mark (from that London) and James (from Edinburgh) was back on.
The day started by meeting Mark for a ‘Spoons' breakfast (cold beans and bacon, yolkless egg, but at least the sausage was warm!) in The Playfair. Mark then called into the Jeremiah’s Taproom, while I did a spot of record shopping in the Vinyl Vault, delighted to pick up a single from The Slits for a bargain £3.50.
We had time to visit the Bellfield Brewery bar before James picked us up at 12.30 for the drive down to Penicuik, with his pal John also coming along.
We had plenty of time for a wee pub crawl in the town, calling at the GBG listed Navaar House Hotel, followed by The Craigie and finally a swift one in The Roadhouse.
After the match we had a canny drink back in Edinburgh, half watching the FA Cup final at the Greenmantle and the Brass Monkey before the train back home. I’ve really missed this traditional trip to Edinburgh and as always, it kept its tradition of being a great day out.