The Smith family have lived, breathed and sold fish in Grangemouth for 65 years but that long association is about to come to an end.
Bill Smith and his wife Ina have “cod” it a day and decided to retire from Samuel Smith and Sons fishmongers in La Porte Precinct.
Bill (65) said: “I’ve worked in the shop for 48 years and have been running it for 20 – it has just become a way of life. Some people have even said we’ve become like an institution in the town.”
Bill’s grandfather Samuel Smith started the business in Grange Street in Grangemouth’s Old Town back in 1952 and moved the shop to Kerse Road before settling in its current location in La Porte Precinct in 1972.
Bill’s father Harry Smith took over the business and gave way to Bill himself in the 1990s.
It will be an emotional moment for Bill when he finally hangs up the apron on Saturday.
He said: “We have three generations of family who have been working in this business and now we are the last of the line. We’re going to miss the customers, who are now more like friends because we have been here so long.
“The children who used to come in here with their parents now come in with their own families. We’ve had people coming from all over the area through the years – from as far away as Queensferry, Linlithgow and Larbert.”
The customers are certainly sorry to see the couple leave and have sent in over 60 cards wishing them well in their retirement.
Ina, who has worked in the business for 38 years herself, said: “Our life’s been on hold because we have dedicated ourselves to this business and tried to give our customers the best quality fish.
“Now we’re going to be doing the things we never had time to do. We haven’t been able to have a summer holiday for 22 years.”
From Tuesday, Bill and Ina will be leaving the business in the capable hands of John Stephen, an ex-trawlerman with 15 years experience on fishing boats.