The music’s over for Hawick shopkeeper Barry

Barry Spence at Spence's Music Shop in Buccleuch Street in Hawick.
Barry Spence at Spence's Music Shop in Buccleuch Street in Hawick.

Hawick’s Mr Music is preparing to play out the final weeks of a 50-plus year career.

Barry Spence has run Spence’s Music Shop in Buccleuch Road in the town since the height of Beatlemania in 1966.

Barry Spence is retiring after over 50 years of selling music.

Barry Spence is retiring after over 50 years of selling music.

The premises has gone through many changes over the years, from selling musical instruments and vinyl to hi-fis, videos and CDs.

It has also incorporated a musical instrument studio and hi-fi centre at various times.

But through the decades, it has always been the first port of call for Hawick music lovers anxious to check out the latest sounds. The business was actually started by Barry’s late father William, who had opened a chop in Drumlanrig Square in 1962.

Now, the 65-year-old is preparing to call time on his association with the shop soon after this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, April 22.

But the family’s ties to the business are to continue, with his daughter Sandi taking over the reins in May, and she plans to sell more clothes alongside its music.

Father-of-two Barry, an aficionado of blues music, who lives with his wife Margaret a short distance from the shop, said: “I’m 66 this year, and I think the time is right.

“I enjoy the outdoors and running and walking and cycling. I’m an outdoor person, and I’ll have more time to do those things, rather than spending the day in the shop.

“I’ll miss the customers. I have met some lovely people over the years.

“We’ve had to change with the times. When we first moved here, it was a dress shop before us, and we sold vinyl in those days, and now vinyl is back in fashion.

“I have always loved the blues, artists like John Mayall and Jeff Healey, but we have also specialised in the sale of Scottish dance music, supplying customers up and down the country via mail order.

“I’ll not be finishing until May, and I’m glad Sandi, who also has a menswear and ladieswear shop close by, is keeping it going.

“I want to thank all the customers for their support over the years.”