Your community newspaper, serving
Currie, Balerno, Juniper Green, Baberton & Colinton
One of the strengths of a community is its ability to communicate within itself, and with a united well-informed voice, to those outside. Without communication, the community can do little and without the ability to broadcast local viewpoints to those who influence affairs, it is powerless.
The communities of Balerno, Currie and Juniper Green expanded rapidly in the 1960's, a loss of local jobs and the growth of dormitory suburbs threatening to destroy the community cohesiveness built up over many years, as people changed their habits and commuted out to work and shop, and back to sleep. Recognising this, a small group of people met and resolved to produce a community newspaper.
The result was the Currie and Balerno News, initiated in February 1976. The first issue, edited by Graham Priestley, was delivered free. After a bumpy start, it settled down and people began to contribute bits and pieces. Before long, the paper, now affectionately known as the C&B News, was carrying regular articles and people began to rely on it, to the extent of promising further information in a subsequent issue.
The paper never appeared each month of the year, though in the early years, editions did come out in January - creating real problems for the team whose thoughts were on Christmas rather than the next issue. 1988 saw the number of issues reduced to 10 per annum, where it has stayed to this day.
The C&B News started life with 10 pages and had a homely, friendly look about it. Two months later it expanded to 12 pages, gradually increasing to 16 pages then in multiples of 4 pages thereafter. The first 28 page issue appeared in 2003 and, in 2005, the biggest paper of all was printed - a 32 page monster. By 2008 the norm had become 36 pages, and after May 2009 there were even occasional 40 page ones. This in turn became the norm, and the first 44-pager appeared in December 2011. The business management is carried out by volunteers and the distribution is done by members of the Currie Balerno Rotary Club.
The paper provides a platform to display the rich talent, expertise, interests and achievements of local people. People communicate with each other and influence the world outside. Articles have been used at public inquiries; senior officials in the local authority have been obliged to explain controversial decisions; local Community Councillors, City Councillors, MSPs and MPs have all read and used the C&B News to inform local people. Extracts are circulated in the City offices and the paper has earned respect as a valuable information source by users of Edinburgh's Central Library.
It is not sufficient to start a project and expect it to continue. None of this was easy and on many occasions the paper was in danger of folding, to the great concern of correspondents and readers alike. Gone are the days when the little band of helpers actually cut and pasted pages together before they were passed to the printer. The C&B News is now produced with the latest computer software like any modern paper, yet several have been surprised to learn that the C&B News does not have an official office.
Readers should note that if they wish to look back over the archives of the C&B News, back issues are available in Currie Library and the Central Lending Library. An index of previous issues is available on CD through the paper.
The Currie and Balerno News is a Private Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in Scotland no. 275967
Registered Office: c/o 11 Turner Avenue, Balerno, EH14 7BS
Opinions expressed in the paper, or on its website, are not necessarily those of the management team