A BUSINESS that has been at the heart of Dunbar for 40 years will close its doors for the last time next week.

Turnbull’s Home Hardware has been a staple of the town’s High Street since 1984.

David Turnbull, who owns the business and has been involved since the Dunbar store opened, admitted it was hard to say goodbye.

He said: “It is a tough decision.

“It is, ultimately, a commercial decision.

“Your hand is sort of forced.”

Turnbull’s Home Hardware also has a branch in North Berwick, where David’s dad, Lawrence, was a partner for a number of years.

He took the helm at the beginning of 1969, with David then joining the business in 1980.

Trading as normal

David stressed: “The North Berwick store will be trading as normal. There is no threat to the North Berwick shop.

“The Dunbar branch has been trading since 1984.

“We have enjoyed a great period and we refitted it.

“The turnover has always been a lot less than North Berwick but the fixed costs are the same.”

David, 60, noted the impact of other shops in Dunbar, as well as the internet, affecting the business.

He said: “It is massive.

“I did a refit a number of years ago and it was very pricey, with the roof and everything gutted back to brick.

“That was a good thing and the shop would not have lasted if we had not done that in the early 2000s.

“After that, we have been a bit unlucky with an awful lot of competition opening.

“There is the garden centre, The Original Factory Shop, Asda and Knox has got a big area outside.

“Compared to North Berwick, there is an awful lot more competition in Dunbar.”

Positive comments

Customers have been popping in to wish staff well ahead of the business closing its doors for the final time next Friday (February 23).

David told the Courier that there had been some “very positive comments from a huge number of people”.

The store will continue to trade until next Friday but David was unsure what the future held beyond it closing its doors.

He said he had spoken to commercial companies and it was likely that the premises would be sold but, equally, he could not rule out the prospect of it being rented out.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of Dunbar Community Council, was hopeful that the premises would not be left empty for long.

She said: “It is fair to say everybody we have spoken to has been absolutely shocked and taken by surprise by their decision to close.

“Our understanding is it is entirely a commercial one.

“It is very difficult to take a snapshot of the street but the sense is quite a lot of very quick take-up when there are empty units.”