In 1996 I retired and, since I now had some spare time, the Chair of the Community Council invited me to take on the post of Secretary.Gorebridge was then going through a rough time. Employment was disappearing. Community facilities were disappearing. Our local high school was under sentence. We were denied access to grant funding from bodies such as the Big Lottery. We were not eligible even for a grant to support a local newsletter to keep residents informed, because we were classed as a statutory body. By 2002 we had no longer appetite for further encroachment on the quality of our village life. We were no longer saying: Why don’t they do this or that for our community? Instead Gorebridge voices were heard to say: What does our village need, and how can we manage to provide it? The Community Council started off two years of community consultation, which culminated in December 2004 with the setting up of Gorebridge Community Development Trust, an independent company with charitable status, committed “to promote the benefit of the inhabitants of Gorebridge and its environs without distinction of sex, sexuality, political, religious or other opinions by associating the local statutory authorities, voluntary organisations and inhabitants in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities, or assist in the provision of facilities, in the interest of social welfare for recreation and other leisure-time occupations so that their conditions of life may be improved.”
It would be difficult to go anywhere in Gorebridge without seeing evidence of the work of the Trust.
Of course, the highest profile belongs to the Beacon in Hunterfield Road that, when completed in late spring next year, will finally provide the flexible, multi-purpose facility recognised by Midlothian Council as badly needed, capable of offering benefit to each and every resident of Gorebridge and district.