Dunning's History Now - September 2005
POPULAR SHOPKEEPERS RETIRE
A presentation was held in Dunning village hall on the evening of Saturday 3rd September 2005 to mark the retiral of Elizabeth and Willie Fletcher, who have served the village for 32 years as grocers and for the last 17 years have also run the post office.
Their son Stephen and daughter Elaine have taken over running of the shop and post office respectively.
Almost £750 was raised by donations from the community and garden furniture, a water feature and cheque were handed over to the couple at the function.
In 1973 Willie from Bishopbriggs and Liz from Glasgow were living in Kirkintilloch with their two young children, Elaine and Steven. Willie a rep for a large Glasgow company and Liz was working as a nurse. But they really wanted to have their own business, and run a shop. It might have been anywhere in Scotland; they'd never even heard of Dunning. But they found a shop for sale here at the right price, and became grocers.
At that time the only supermarket was the small Tesco in Perth. People bought all their basics from the shops in the village. They worked hard, starting at 6am seven days a week, and Willie also did long hours with the mobile shop they had for the first five years. Competition was tough, with several other shops in the village including:
In 1987, following the closure of the Tron Square post office, the business was transferred to their shop in Bridgend and Liz became Dunning's postmistress.
In 1997 their son Steven bought the business but Liz and Willie continued to run the post office. Now they've retired their daughter Elaine has become postmistress.
Liz says "We've been very fortunate - we've got the benefit of an extended family, including three grandchildren. Having gone away to college, both our children chose to come back to settle down here. Maybe our love of Dunning rubbed off on them. There's something special about Dunning and the quality of life here."
And Willie agrees "Dunning has been a good place to live and work, and you couldn't buy the fun you get in the shop. I can't understand anyone wanting to move anywhere else."
The last word - from your webmaster: I agree there can be no doubt that Dunning is a very special place. And that's because special people like Liz and Willie have made it so. By their efficient, courteous and friendly work in the shop, in committee work for organisations such as the bowling club and historical society, and charities such as the Rotary Club, they have supported the village in so many ways. But especially by always having time to spare for people, no matter how busy or tired they were, they have been a lovely part of the community for 32 years.
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