Builders peeling back years a sign of times for Galashiels folk

The old Adam Purves sign revealed by building work on the new Greggs in Galashiels.
The old Adam Purves sign revealed by building work on the new Greggs in Galashiels.

Work to create a new slice of cafe culture in Galashiels is peeling back the years for nostalgic townsfolk.

It can be amazing what lies beneath the surface, and so it was that a treasure trove of memories were unleashed after work started to convert the former Ozkan’s Grill takeaway in Market Street into a continental-style outdoor cafe.

How the building looked previously.

How the building looked previously.

As contractors working on behalf of North Tyneside-based bakery chain Greggs started removing the shop’s signage, a piece of its previous retail past was revealed.

A sign from the time the outlet housed the Adam Purves car showroom was exposed for the first time in decades.

The discovery has led to an outpouring of memories from townsfolk who both worked and shopped there, with many recalling buying their first car at the showroom.

Some also remembered the motor outlet’s other previous lives as a sports shop, Sportswise, and as electrical store Comet.

Keith Hardie posted: “I drove the first Austin Maxi and Austin Allegro from the bottom of Green Street to the showroom after dewaxing.”

Lorraine Bowdery added: “I worked for Adam Purves from when I left school in 1982 until I moved to London in 1989. They are happy memories. They were lovely people I worked for.”

Peter Young recalled: “My dad bought his first car from Tom Purves, an Austin Cambridge LS 7800,” while Chris Turnbull posted: “I got my gritter bike there as a boy, a surprise from Santa.”

Janet Stewart said: “I have many happy memories of being in the garage with dad Kenneth as a youngster. My aunt Myra and uncle Tom lived upstairs.”

Adam Purves Galashiels is a family business with a history of providing motor, retail and property services in the Borders since 1879.

It currently operates a Mitsubishi main dealership in Tweedbank, petrol forecourts in Galashiels and Selkirk and a convenience store in Galashiels.

Greggs plans to offer four tables and 11 chairs in the outdoor seating area at its soon-to-open cafe, employing 10 staff, two more than its current outlet in the town in Channel Street, set to close its doors once the new shop opens.

Greggs, launched in Newcastle in 1951, now runs more than 1,600 shops nationwide.

It currently has four outlets in the Borders, the others being in Hawick High Street, Kelso Square and Peebles High Street, in addition to two shops in nearby Berwick in Northumberland.