Sid Collumbine retires from Falkirk funeral directors after over 43 years

A well-known businessman who has provided the transport to bring hundreds of people into the world and carry them on their final journey is retiring.
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Sidney Collumbine, or Sid as he is known to most, will finally be hanging up his top hat after 43 years involvement with the funeral directors business that bears his name.

But prior to entering the world of organising funerals he ran a successful taxi firm and he remembers often being called to take expectant mums to hospital to deliver their babies. Then when he started his limousine hire business he took some of these babies, now grown up, to their weddings.

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Sadly, he knows that some of them were also carried in one of his hearses from his funeral business .

Sid Collumbine is retiring after 43 years as a funeral director. (Pic: Michael Gillen)Sid Collumbine is retiring after 43 years as a funeral director. (Pic: Michael Gillen)
Sid Collumbine is retiring after 43 years as a funeral director. (Pic: Michael Gillen)

A native of Carronshore, Sid was born and brought up in Burnside Place and has spent most of his live in the village.

Now aged 83, he’s a bit concerned how he is going to fill his retirement days.

“I’ve worked since I was 13 years old, leaving school at 14 to serve petrol,” Sid recalled. “The I would service bikes for the people working in Carron and at BA. When I was 17, Stanley Bloch had just taken over Malleys bike shop and offered me £7 a week to work there, but I wanted to do my apprenticeship so I went to Laurie’s Garage where I earned one pound, seven and six but more importantly I got my training.

"I always wanted to be perfect at everything I did.

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"Once my apprenticeship was complete, from there I went to Hardie’s as a car salesman and within three years I was manager.

"Around 1960 I set up S&B Taxis and it was just at the time the council were issuing taxi licences and I had no.4 and 5.”

From taxis he expanded into limousine hire, then mini and midi buses, and at one stage even ran a continental tour bus.

But always looking for a new venture, Sid went to work with the Co-op undertakers and went to night school to study for his diploma in funeral directing.

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Over four decades ago he set up Collumbine Funeral Directors which is based in Carron Road, Falkirk. Around 23 years ago he sold the business to Dignity Funeral Directors, but remained working as a consultant helping families with the arrangements for their loved one’s service.

He has also had a life-long love of football and for 17 years he was involved with Stenhousemuir as a board member and director, before moving to Dumbarton as director of football.

His next move was to East Fife where he was chairman and chief executive, as well as having two spells on the SFA board.

Sadly, he lost his wife Elizabeth two years ago and is now contemplating life without work for the first time in seven decades.

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He said: "I would like to say a very big thank you to the many friends, colleagues and customers who have supported me all these years and hope they will continue to support the great team at Collumbine Funeral Services.

"I have been very proud to have had all their backing and support over all these years.”

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