Definitions

Balerno

Balerno

Balerno is a suburb of the Scottish capital Edinburgh. It is considered one of the wealthier suburbs, and lies to the far south west of the city, next to Juniper Green and Currie.

History

Its name derives from the Scottish Gaelic Baile Airneach, meaning "hawthorn farm" . The earliest written records of Balhernoch or Balernach are found in the late 13th century.

The 18th Century brought a splurge of development in the area, with many new flax, snuff and paper mills springing up around the Water of Leith. These mills were a prominent feature of village life until fairly recently. After the First World War house building began in earnest in the area and since then residential pressures have almost overwhelmed commercial and industrial ones.

Transport (historical)

The Caledonian Railway built a spur line from Slateford, via Colinton, which connected Balerno to the centre of Edinburgh. The line saw an upsurge in housebuilding in Balerno. The last passenger train to run on the line was in 1943, and a High School was placed on the site of the goods station in 1984.

Transport (present day)

The A70 runs near the town. The town is serviced by the 44 bus route, which is opperated by both Lothian Buses and First Edinburgh. The route connects Balerno to Currie, Slateford, the City Centre, Brunstane and East Lothian. The town is also served by the Prentice Westwood 424 bus route, which connects it to Juniper Green in one direction and East Calder and Livingston, however this only runs every 2 hours Monday to Friday.

Schools

Balerno Community High School (school website) was founded in 1983 and is one of the most successful schools in Edinburgh, consistently receiving good marks in the Scotsman annual school list. Dean Park Primary School is the local primary school, and it is split over two locations in Balerno.

Sport

Balerno is home to Currie RFC, who play at Malleny Park. Currie won the Scottish Rugby Union Scottish Hydro Electric Premiership Division One in 2007. Malleny Park is also home to the Balerno High School Football Team who finished second in the ESSFA (Edinburgh Secondary Schools Football Association) in season 2007/08. This included wins over Third-Place Craigmount (9-2) and eventual winners Portobello (2-0) as well as high scoring wins over Firhill (8-2) and Leith (4-1). Balerno could not make it past the group stages of the Edinburgh Cup, as a host of suspensions took its toll on the team. This included a 1-5 loss at the hands of Firhill, a team Balerno had put 8 past in a previous league encounter. The team did not fair much better in the Scottish cup the most prestigious tournament at this level. Leading 3-1 in the closing stages of their 3rd round encounter with Ross High of East Lothian a brawl between players of both teams sparked off a series of events with the game being abandoned and suspensions given out to five players. The replay was never actually played and so Balerno got a bye into the 4th round meaning they had gone through three rounds without actually playing an official game. Their 4th round opponents Alva Academy of Stirling proved too strong at Stenhousmuirs Ochilview stadium, as Balerno suffered a 1-4 defeat. The scoreline was 1-2 approaching injury time where Alva had been dominating for much of the game but Balerno had been fighting hard to find a goal which would have taking it into Extra Time. After this was the disappointment of the Edinburgh Cup as well as a final day 2-4 defeat at the hands of Forrester which ended any lingering title hopes.

Culture & attractions

Malleny House & Gardens

The 17th century Malleny House and its surrounding gardens are owned by the National Trust for Scotland. While the house is not open to the public the gardens are and consist of a three acre walled garden set in approximately nine acres of woodland. The gardens feature four hundred year-old yew trees known as the Four Apostles and is home to Scotland’s National Bonsai Collection.

Churches

Balerno has two churches, St Mungo's Church (Scottish Episcopalian) and Balerno Parish Church (Church of Scotland). St Joseph's Catholic Church closed in August 2006.

Farmers Market

A farmers' market is held in Balerno Main Street on the second Saturday of each month. Usually some great entertainment is on show including local bands Equinox and Jakil and performances from musician Randall 'Randy' Prichard with some choir singers from the local Dean Park Primary.

Music Festival

2008 saw the launch of Balerno's music festival with events held at Balerno Parish Church, Balerno Bowling Club, Balerno Parish Church New Hall, the Grey Horse Inn and the St Joseph's Centre.

Red Moss Wildlife Reserve

One of only four raised bogs of sphagnum moss surviving in the Lothians and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Local Newspaper

The Currie and Balerno News is Balerno's community newspaper which also includes coverage of nearby Currie, Baberton and Juniper Green. Published monthly the paper features local news, a monthly police neighbourhood watch update, an SSPCA appeal and coverage of local planning applications and developments.

References

External links

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