New running group begins 27 January


Michael Crosbie, who runs the Boxcir group in the village, will be starting a running group on Satuday 27th January.
It will be , primarily , aimed at beginner to intermediate runners.
The initial plan is to run, jog, walk or power walk 5 full laps of Kirknewton park on Saturday, Monday and Thursday mornings at approximately 9am.
If interested , just turn up on morning or check out his facebook here



Kirknewton Community Council minutes Dec 2017

The first set of minutes for the new Kirknewton Community Council are now available here.

Minutes will be made available once they are approved – these minutes are from the December meeting that took place on Tuesday 12th December, agreed at the January meeting which took place at the Green Room on Tuesday 9th January

The list of the new Kirknewton Community Council members can be found here..  This is the page you can see all Council minutes in the future.  You can approach them individually or e mail

The December minutes cover PC Alan Murrays crime report and a variety of items the new Community Council hope to get up to speed on in this new year.


Not a Very Merry Christmas for Kirknewton or West Calder community.

Sad santaWest Lothian Councillors Stuart Borrowman (Independent), Willie Boyle (SNP), Harry Cartmill (Labour), Pauline Clark (SNP), Tom Kerr (Conservative), Dom McGuire (Labour) and David Tait (SNP) on the West Lothian Council Development Management Committee have all voted against the Fauch Hill windfarm development based on landscape and visual objection put forward by the West Lothian Council planners.  The only major objector was Edinburgh Airport, potentially concerned it may affect their flightpaths over the area.  

This decision, in light of devastating Council cuts, also means Kirknewton loses £80,000 a year in a “best in Scotland” Community Ownership model, West Calder and Harburn lose the same and the wider West Lothian lose a similar amount of community benefit.  In Kirknewton alone the minimum socio-economic impact could mean the loss of three full time equivalent jobs in the community and support for several businesses and volunteer groups.  This also puts staff support for supporting the Community Development Plan, running events such as Fireworks and the Christmas Family Fair, our youth projects/youth club and the housing for the elderly all in jeopardy unless funding is found beyond July 2018.

West Lothian Council Planning had commissioned their own independent report on visual impact, as Scottish National Heritage did not raise an objection, but they had not conducted a report on socio-economic impact for the communities to help balance the Development Committees decision.  Indeed some members of the Committee didn’t seem to fully understand that socio-economic impact is now important at Council level when deciding such matters, nor the unique best deal in Scotland investment package that was on the table for the communities of West Lothian.

In an independent survey, which asked about the location of the windfarm, 43% of the total sample of respondents from the Kirknewton Community Council area expressed some measure of support for the proposal compared to 9% that expressed some measure of opposition.  The rest were ‘neutral’.  Results were similar in West Calder.  The elected Kirknewton Community Council put that view forward to councillors in support of the wind farm. The West Calder Community Council seem to have ignored the results of the community survey nor seem to have discussed the findings at their meeting.  Despite that, planners deemed the survey presented by Kirknewton as evidence of majority community support to be ‘inconclusive’ – despite the methodology being a key part of West Lothian Council’s own adopted Community Engagement Toolkit and their own recent consultation on council cuts.

This is the second time West Lothian councillors have voted against the majority community view on the Fauch Hill windfarm, community empowerment and direct community funds to help support the work of community groups in Kirknewton and West Calder.  It’s also led to Kirknewton staff having to withdraw their time to support West Lothian bodies in tourism, social enterprise and European funding for community groups and rural business so they can concentrate on looking for alternative funding steams for the Kirknewton community.

Tony Foster, CEO of Kirknewton Community Development Trust, said, “It’s not an unexpected decision but a sad one, seeing as some of the Councillors have visited Kirknewton to see the good work we have done and want to do similar things in their own area.  They know it’s impossible and potentially devastating for our community to continue without core funding.  Also some of the Councillors and objectors already benefit from windfarms, some guided by initial advice from members of the Kirknewton Community Development Trust.  We’ve also done quite a bit of work on infrastructure and promoting the outskirts of the Pentland Park as it is largely unexplored, so more people can enjoy the view and maintain businesses there or create additional employment.  That support will not be there without ongoing core funding.”

“This windfarm was without government subsidy, promoted Scottish Government targets on  carbon reduction, community ownership of renewables, engagement and empowerment and was for the needs of the many, not the few.”




KCDT Newsletter and AGM

CentreKirknewton Community Development Trust hope you can attend our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 5th December in the Green Room at 7.30pm. After the business of the meeting there will a wee glass of wine and a presentation of the Kirknewton Community Development Plan 2015-2020 and what has been achieved so far. More about KCDT on the 2 page newsletter online, available in shop and being delivered door to door over the next week. There is also a What’s On guide and application for KCDT membership too. 

It’s Christmassssssssss…….


The final CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAMME IN THE HEATED MARQUEE has been announced.  The  Kirknewton Family Christmas Fair and BBQ event takes place at The Kirknewton Stables, Saturday 2nd December 2017, 11.30am-3.30pm
11.50-12 School Brass Band
12 – 12.20 Magician Amazing Christopher
12.25 – 12.55 Christmas BookBugs
13.30 – 14.00 Pumpherston Choir
14.00 – 14.20 Amazing Christopher Magician
14.30 – 15.00 Mini and Me
15.00 – 15.30 Pentlands Choir
End – Hamper winner announced
Santa Grotto with crafts to do while you wait throughout adternoon
Entry is free with charges for tea, coffee, homebaking, BBQ, raffle, tombola, stocking fillers/gifts and Grotto. Please donate for entertainment and kids games/fun.
Weather mild so please walk to Stables if you can – parking limited.
Snow ⛄️ machines, Gala stocking fillers, Craft Making, Reindeer Dust, Decorative Wreaths, Christmas 🎄 Tree Procession Lights, Guides and Scout games, face painting, school brass band, playgroup tombola, win a Christmas Hamper, balloon modelling, BBQ, Glitter tattoos, magician 🎩, storytelling, Christmas music, two amazing choirs singing Christmas songs, allotment home baking, tea 🍵 and coffee ☕️ , Santa 🎅 Grotto, Christmas family spirit and free entry

KCDT AGM News and 2016-17 achievements


It has been another successful year for Kirknewton Community Development Trust, our tenth year since becoming a Trust in 2006!  Find out more in this news report and at the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 5th December at 7.30pm in the Green Room.  All welcome!


In mid 2016, we successfully received £150,000 from Big Lottery Scotland.  This has provided us with two years funding, which will end in July 2018.


We purchased land at Camps Junction (the east end of the village) to build housing for the elderly for £75,000.  We applied and were successful in getting a £60,000 grant from Scottish Land Fund.  £15,000 was contributed by the Trust. Further to that, we received up to £72,000 to clear the land of debris left by a previous developer from West Lothian Council, of which we used approximately £50,000.  Once the land has planning for houses, it is expected to be worth more than the £75,000 purchase price.


We have secured £10,000 to put together a grant application of £500,000 to the Scottish Government for a Rural Housing grant that will go towards the housing for the elderly project.  The houses will be low cost to heat and light.  We have established a relationship with Responsible Social Landlord Horizon to manage the rented homes when built and Almond to help develop the homes. The grant application is expected to be made in early 2018.


We have been successful in an asset transfer request to the local authority for the adjoining land to Camps Junction for a Charles Jencks artwork at the Gateway to the Village.  This means that, following legal agreement, we will also own that land too. We also applied and were successful in getting a £20,000 Arts Grant from West Lothian Council and £10,000 from Village Improvement Fund towards the project.  Dalmahoy Estates gifted £8000 worth of balsalt stones from the quarry and we have a donation of additional of stones from Tarmac Ravelrigg Quarry too.  Some work has already been done on the artwork, titled Order and Chaos.  Installation is expected to begin early in 2018.


Building on the success of last year we were able to run a bigger and better Fireworks display in Kirknewton Park on 2nd November, with over 1000 attending.  For your safety, we introduced tickets, security and improved lighting this year and made sure we didn’t lose donations to unauthorised traders.  We hope to go back to donations next year, now we have established expected numbers in the park.  A massive thanks to all those who attended and the volunteers who contribute their time and equipment to the event.  Their contribution helps keep costs down and maintain a low recommended donation.


The popular Kirknewton Christmas Family Fair and BBQ is once again at the Stables on Saturday 2nd December at 11.30 – 3.30pm.  Based on your feedback, the event is closer to Christmas this year (last year it was mid November), Santa’s grotto will be there, a marquee with entertainment including brass bands, a choir, a magician and storytelling, a chance to win prizes including a Christmas Hamper from Patersons, more entertainment for all the family and the usual food, drink and BBQ to help share the spirit of Christmas.  The event is free and we look forward to seeing you there again this year!


With sadness we said goodbye to our Finance and Admin Officer Zoe Hubbard and Youth and Volunteer Co-ordinator Jennifer Ba, who both went on to positive destinations this year.  We recruited Stephanie Paterson as our new Finance Officer to support Director Pat Hastings who has taken on the lead for Finance after Treasurer Neil Greer resigned following a move to East Calder.  We also recruited a former Youth Club volunteer, Laura Bilton, to the role of Youth and Volunteer Co-ordinator.  Both Laura and Stephanie live in the village and have hit the ground running on various projects.  We now employ one full time and four part time staff in the village.


Although not directly a KCDT project, thanks to your votes in a national community competition, Virgin Media installed broadband through most of the village (a Kirknewton Development Plan objective for 2020).  Furthermore KCDT were awarded £14,000 to support an improved Broadband project around Harperigg, thanks to windfarm money distributed by West Lothian Development Trust.  The residents there will be taking the project forward.


We applied and were successful in getting £2000 of funding from Edinburgh Airport Community Fund to print 20,000 copies of the Kirknewton tourism brochure. This leaflet supports local business and encourages people to know more about their local area. This leaflet was distributed in school bags across West Lothian, local homes and Visit West Lothian leaflet racks.


Park improvements this year, co-ordinated by KCDT, include improved surfaces and the sensory garden in the Community Woodland, improved drainage on the pitch, hard surface around the basketball court and the flying fox, thanks to West Lothian Council, Village Improvement Fund and Tesco Bags Of Help programme.  KCDT also advised the Council on the proposed Park Pavilion, to help keep down future costs for heating, lighting and hot water.


The Gala and Village Hall committees have become committees of the Trust, and both are being supported by Trust structures, charity status and support staff while maintaining much needed volunteers to keep activity going. The Green Roo and Village Hall remain popular destinations for events and parties in the community.


It is great to see a growing number of community activity and KCDT has continued to support Youth Activities, Youth Club (including trips to Jump Station and Ghost Walk on Halloween), art competitions in the school, bike repair and skills training, Kirknewton Klean Up Krew litter tidying events, helping Cyrenians sell local veg bags and developing our new website  The website was developed in- house, saving us £8000 to design a new one, and is supported by social media activity which has increased traffic to the website.  KCDT are happy to share any events or news stories on the website and social media – email


We have a potential investment opportunity in Fauch Hill Windfarm.  A reduced windfarm scheme is to go to planning soon, with support from the Kirknewton community following a consultation in which the majority of the community supported the project and location.  KCDT has negotiated investment, paid for by the developer, into the windfarm for a virtual turbine for Kirknewton, West Calder and Harburn and the wider West Lothian.  This will provide substantial annual funding for all our activities and help support other groups too. This is due to go to West Lothian Council for planning before the end of this year. Hopefully at our next AGM, after 10 years of trying, we will have some good news to report.


KCDT, along with the Kirknewton Community Council, have spent the last six months encouraging people to stand for the Community Council or the KCDT Board.  We were happy to see 27 candidates stand for 18 places and 25% of you voted in the Community Council election (a local election, with party machines, is usually a 40% turnout)

Current KCDT Board members interviewed candidates for the KCDT Board and we welcome the opportunity to put forward Caroline Hamilton at the AGM. Caroline will join the other Board Members Stewart McKenna, Pat Hastings, Martin Hall, Kenny Birch, Vic Garrad and Hugh Hunter Gordon.  Directors currently resign from the Board on rotation.  This year Vic Garrad and Hugh Hunter Gordon are standing down, but may put themselves forward again for the Board.


The 9th KCDT AGM will take place on Tuesday 5th December at 7.30pm in the Green Room.  There will be a full presentation on work in the community and the objectives of the Kirknewton Development Plan to 2020.  There will also be mince pies and wine!  All welcome.


Anyone over the age of 16 who lives in Kirknewton can become a member of the Trust.  You can join online or fill out an application form.  The link is here.

Thanks all x

Kirknewton Halloween Ghost & Alien Stories

On Friday night the members of the Youth Club were taken on a ghost tour of Kirknewton. Here are some of the stories they were told.

cullen grave
This is the Grave of William Cullen, who was a professor of medicine at the University of
Edinburgh. He was born just over 300 years ago and had a particular connection with


He lived and worked in Edinburgh, but had a love of Kirknewton so great that he bought a house and garden here that he used to visit and work in when he was available. He was a famous doctor in the 1700s, at a time when people believed that illness was caused by an imbalance of “Humours” in the body. Doctors would test these illnesses by checking your bowel movements or urine (even tasting it!) and would treat you in grisly fashion, for example if they thought you had too much blood they would balance that out by simply “bleeding” you. The treatments were often worse than the illness. Dr Cullen also believed that, but he was also the first Dr to pay particular care to each individual and their symptoms, something that no other Dr had done before him. He was extremely wealthy as he also treated people by letter, charging huge sums to do this. However, he would often charge people for less or free if he could, so in many ways he was a good man.

There were lots of other Doctors practicing at the time who were pioneers in the field of
medicine and anatomy. How do you think they would practice? How do you think they
made their discoveries? They would dissect dead bodies! And where did they get these
dead bodies? They would buy them! In fact, supplying dead bodies to doctors was such a
lucrative business that people started robbing graves to do this! People who did this were called Resurrection Men.

Burke and hare

Two of the most notorious grave robbers were men called Burke and Hare, who actually worked at a similar time to Dr Cullen in Edinburgh and sold bodies to one of his colleagues called John Knox. However, the supply for dead bodies was so great, as doctors could only buy the bodies or prisoners, foundlings and orphans, that they started
killing people and selling them on. They would get people drunk, take lure them away and suffocate them! They would be paid the huge sum of £7 10s per body, and killed 16 in people 10 months. They were arrested after some of Hare’s lodgers called the police and Hare actually put all the blame on Burke and got away Scot free. Burke was hanged and his skeleton is actually on display in Edinburgh’s Anatomical Medical School to this very day.  The trail of Burke and Hare was heard by Lord Meadowbank of Hillhouse in Kirknewton.

Lang Whang

The Lang Whang road, which is the road at the bottom of this hill, has many many strange sighting attached to it, ranging from Roman Soldiers to Coal Miners and their screaming children.

In fact, the strangest thing to happen on that road was Garry Wood and Colin Wright
made headlines across the globe when they revealed their extraordinary story
of being taken prisoners by extraterrestrials in a flying saucer. After being
hypnotically regressed they recalled, in  astonishing detail, how they were taken on board the craft, stripped and examined by strange creatures before being returned to their vehicle on the A70 Edinburgh to Lanark road on the outskirts of the capital.

Secret Government papers revealed that the Ministry of Defence took these claims seriously enough to interview the two men and keep a report on their account. The report called “Unexplained Aerial Sighting” – is based on evidence provided by Mr Wood. About 10pm at night they spotted a “black” object in the sky above them. It had no lights, was round at the bottom, had three parts to it and was 30ft wide.

The document continues: “[Mr Wood] was driving along the A70 when the object dropped a curtain of white light in front of the car. [Mr Wood] and his friend blacked out for what seemed like ten to 15 seconds. He thought he had died.
“Then he woke up. The car was facing the other direction on the wrong side of
the road. When he checked his watch he had lost about one hour.”

According to the report, Mr Wood had contacted the police, a doctor, the BBC, a
university and even a psychologist “to get some sort of explanation”.

Mr Wood said in a newspaper interview in 1996: “I saw three creatures coming
towards my car. I felt intense pain, like an electric shock. Then I was in some
room. I saw these things like wee men moving about, doing something to me. I
could only see up. Then this 6ft creature approached. “It was white-grey in
colour with a large head and dark eyes with a long, slender neck, very slim
shoulders and waist. There were either ribs or folds of skin on its body. The
arms were like ours, but there were four very long fingers. “The little ones
[aliens] were about 3ft tall and seemed to do all the work while the big ones
did the communication.” He said one of the aliens spoke to him and said:
“Sanctuary – we are here already and we are coming here.

Alien story