Well known Falkirk businessman who owned town’s famous ‘Blue House’ remembered

Melvil Dillon
Melvil Dillon

The businessman who owned the famous ‘Blue House’ in Falkirk High Street has died. Melvil Dillon was 81.

Born in Falkirk and educated at Falkirk High School and Strathallan Boarding School in Perthshire, he was the third generation of the family to take charge of Dillons, the popular gents and ladies outfitters.

He joined the family firm in 1965 after training as as accountant with Jarvie and Co. in Glasgow and later working with Austin Reed in London’s Regent Street.

He was an active member of the Burgh Merchants Association and campaigned for better town centre parking to promote high street shopping. But he also famously challenged the local council when they ordered a re-think after he restored his property to its original blue.

Dillons was not only the shop of choice for the best dressed Bairns, hardly a school pupil in the district went to classes without their parents having visited Dillons first for the school blazer and tie required. The business was also the first port of call for mums and dads with children in the Scouts and Cubs and Girl Guides who needed a uniform.

Melvil met Valerie, his wife of 55 years, in Stirling’s Golden Lion Hotel in 1955 and they married in 1960.

A life member of Glenbervie Golf Club, he was also a member of Falkirk and Linlithgow Bridge Clubs and, as a keen sailor, was a skipper with the Seagull Trust and Bridge 1940 Canal Society for over 25 years. He was also a past president of Falkirk Rotary and a keen volunteer with the Royal British Legion.

After retiring at the end of 1999 he and Valerie enjoyed travelling, regularly visiting their sons Harry and Guy in Australia and New Zealand and their daughter, Lorraine, in London.

Melvil’s funeral will be to Falkirk Crematorium on Tuesday.