End of a decade marks end of an era for Roddy

As the first decade of the 21st century comes to an end, Roddy Allan will close the doors of the town’s well known electrical shop Walter D. Allan for the final time.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 14th December 2010, 8:54 am

One of Peterhead’s longest established businesses has seen many changes to the town centre since it opened its doors over 75 years ago with the shop itself playing an intergral role in Peterhead trading since it was opened by the man himself Walter David Allan in 1933.

The shop was originally located at the top end of Marischal Street on the opposite side of the road from the current Boots store before moving further down the street to number 15 (the current Duncan & Todd), several years later.

His son, Roddy, who runs the store today joined his father’s business in 1959 as an apprentice, working mainly on televisions and radios,

Speaking to the Buchanie about past times at the shop Roddy said: “The Peterhead fleet was incredibly large at that time and there was a lot of work going around.

“Many of the farms did not have an electricity supply and in some cases they had to start from scratch and that was a major job.”

He recalls that one of his first jobs as a young lad was delivering wet batteries to customers around the town.

“Customers used to drop off their batteries for charging and once charged I had to go round with them stacked in the basket on the front of my bike and deliver them back to their rightful owner,” he says.

Roddy has noticed several major changes over the years, mostly in the technological advances that have seen everything get smaller - apart from televisions!

“We used to do a big trade in television rentals when they first came on the go, but obviously with the price of televisions falling that particular side of the business dwindled.

“Everything got smaller over the years, apart from television screens which are now much bigger, but the advances in technology have been incredible in the times I have been working.”

The diversity of shops in the town centre has also changed over the years, according to Roddy, with smaller traders now gone.

“When I first came to work there was a more diverse range of shops and there were a lot of specialist fresh food outlets in the town centre.

“There were dedicated fruiterers, fish shops and bakeries, And in our trade alone there were the likes of Duthies, Murray Mackie, Duthies of Broad Street, Granada and Currys to name but a few. They have all gone now.

Roddy will be retiring before the new year and is looking forward to having some more leisure time to himself. He wished to thank all the support he has received over the past years.

He said: “Although I’m looking forward to my retirement I will definitely miss the many people I saw every day at the shop.

“I would like to thank the many loyal customers who have supported me over the years and also the members of staff both past and present for all their help and hard work.

“Once Christmas has passed the shop will be on the market for sale.”