Industry, Trade and Commerce

'Kingsland Sub-Branch'. The two remaining banks are The Bank of Scotland, which is now located at 70 High Street, and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which have their premises at 4 Eastgate. However, another bank that sadly disappeared from the local scene is the Peebles Municipal Bank that was established in 1925. It had a proud record and was one of only seven such banks existing in Scotland in 1967; the fact that it was still in being all those years later was seen as an act of local patriotism.

The Peeblesshire News, commenting on the situation in Peebles in 1962, said that it noted with regret that many of the old-established family businesses had faded out or changed hands. They suggested that 'tailors' were then almost a rarity and that there were fewer joiners and masons in the town and many trades had disappeared due to the effect of 'multiple businesses'. This is not so nowadays. The era of the 'small business' has returned and there is now a plentiful supply of small trades firms: joiners and glaziers, painters and decorators, plasterers, building contractors, plumbers, slaters, electrical services and a TV 'doctor'. The lack of local industry has encouraged the development of such trades and services and, indeed, of 'craft skills' generally, including pottery, furniture and jewellery-making and fine art.

There was also regret, in 1962, that the need for the 'local baker' had been reduced by the flood of massed-produced baking coming into the town in the 1950s and that it had gradually brought about the closure of the locally-renowned businesses of J. H. Goodburn & Sons, Wilson & Sime and Robert Johnston. Perhaps future generations will wonder at the verses to be found in the Peeblesshire News, written by a Peeblean living in Canada, that longingly recalled the merits of the Goodburn pies! However, a new generation of local bakers have now come into being: The Home Bakery, 55 Northgate; W.T.S. Forsyth & Sons, Eastgate; J. G. Thomson, 21 Old Town; and the Legendary Cake Co., 12 Cuddyside.

Gone are the tailors' businesses of A. W. Stickler, at 11 Northgate, Thos. Skelton, at 17 Old Town, John Elder, at the Veterans' Cottages in Rosetta Road, and A. Inglis at 9 Eastgate. The haberdashery shops and outfitters that once served the families in the town have also disappeared: Jessie Bonsor, 61 High Street; J. M. Hay & Co., 30 Northgate; Miss Hamilton and Miss Somerville, who both had shops in the Eastgate; and Mrs J. Tammi, Northgate. Changed, too, is the once flourishing Peebles Co-operative Society which opted to merge