Grangemouth watchmaker jewel in crown

Ross Philp outside his Kerse Road, Grangemouth shop in 1958
Ross Philp outside his Kerse Road, Grangemouth shop in 1958
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When Elaine Barclay’s father opened his jewellery business in Grangemouth in 1958 getting a watch or item of jewellery was a real treat.

Back when Ross Philip first opened, people would

get a watch for a big birthday and jewellery was bought only on special occasions.

Elaine, from Falkirk, said: “My dad opened his first shop, Ross Philip Watchmaker and Jeweller in 1958 when he was in his 20s. Back then to be a watchmaker you had to complete a five year apprenticeship first, which he did in Glasgow, and then opened his first shop in Grangemouth.

“The shop was in Kerse Road, which was a busy shopping street at the time with lots of independent retailers. He moved to York Arcade to be in the La Porte Precinct and before long he also opened branches in Cumbernauld and at the old Callendar Centre in Falkirk.

“I would help out at the weekends when I was at school and used to love helping the customers with their purchases. People tend to be celebrating when they come to a jewellers.

“My dad still works occasionally in the Grangemouth shop, which is the only one still open, at the age of 81 but it’s my sister Lynne that does the everyday running of it.

“Although the business has been there for over 50 years the main principals are still the same - making sure the customer leaves happy.”