Death of Falkirk businessman James Blair

Falkirk businessman James Blair
Falkirk businessman James Blair

Well known Falkirk businessman James Blair has died after a brave fight against an incurable disease. He was 86.

The popular painter decorator, coach painter and sign writer had premises in Stewart Road and Kerse Lane in the town and only retired in 2010 at the age of 79.

He was also a champion speed skater and Scottish record holder and coached at Falkirk and Stirling speed skating clubs.

Under his guidance his youngest son, Robert, was good enough to be selected to represent the Team GB speed skating squad at the Winter Olympics in Calgary, Canada, in 1988.

Mr Blair was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a rare but serious condition caused by deposits of abnormal protein building up in tissues and organs throughout the body, in 2008.

Just three weeks ago he helped launch the sale of a CD of a song based on a poem written by his late wife, Janet, to fund research that could lead to a cure.

He said at the time: “It’s a horrible disease, but I want to do something because I don’t want others to suffer.”

Mr Blair is survived by his children, Sylvia (62), Jim (59), Helen (55), Robert (53), nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

His funeral service will be held at 8.45am tomorrow (Thursday) at St James’ Parish Church, Thornhill Road.