Industry, Trade and Commerce
shops and in 1900 there were as many as ten drapers, outfitters and tailors shops: seven in the High Street, the Eastgate had two and there was one in the Old Town. Those still in business and mentioned in Slater's Directory of 1867 included George Veitch, Robert Williamson and Green - all in the High Street.
Another outfitters that became successfully established before the century began was Veitch's Corner House. It was started in 1884 by Robert Veitch and his wife, Helen Binnie Peden, at their house in Gladstone Place, and one year later they moved into newly-built premises at 2 High Street. About 1887 the business extended into the adjoining shops, which had been formerly occupied by J. Laidlaw (butchers) and J. Mason (bootmakers) at 1 and 3 Northgate and twenty-three years later they took over premises at the rear, for a men's department. The upper-floor living-accommodation was also converted for business use at that time.
There have been four generations since 1884 to the present time (1990): Robert Veitch, JP; Robert Bishop Veitch, JP, Hon. Deputy Sheriff; Douglas Weir Veitch and Robert Douglas Veitch. Veitch's must be one of the better-known businesses in the town. It has an imposing building located on a prominent corner site at the east end of the High Street and it has a most distinctive and stylish nameplate. This 'logo' was originally drawn on the back of an envelope by a friend of R. B. Veitch whilst they were serving together during the First World War, and has remained unchanged since then. Its beautiful lettering and stylish design must have appeared in many of the town's photographs since the 1920s.8
In 1896 George Anderson established a draper's business in the Old Town that was to grow into a flourishing and successful enterprise known as the Castle Warehouse. His father used a part of the Greenside site for a tannery and skinner's business and these premises, along with his house in the Old Town, were demolished to be replaced by George Anderson's first shop. George Anderson started as an apprentice with Whitie, Tailors and Drapers, High Street and, in addition to developing his business, he took a great interest in local affairs and was provost of Peebles for seven years (1926 - 1933).
In 1915 A. Finlayson went into partnership with George Anderson and in 1933 both Robert and Alex Finlayson, A. Finlayson's sons, took over the business. After the Second World War the premises in the Old Town were developed and