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PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS: Shops & businesses circa 1930s

By Julia Campbell [nee Crombie]. b. Elie 1922

Small Shops, Elie 1930s – High Street from Station

Menzies – Bookstall at the Station

Sweet Shop

Shoe Shop – Terras

Butchers Shop – McCallum then Hughes

Greigs – Garage Shop

Graham – Bakers

Drapers – Miss Betts two sisters owned this shop

Fruit & Veg – Miss Kings

Fruit & Veg- Oddies

Grocer – Melville’s

Shoe Shop – Nan Graham’s

Brattasani – Chip Shop

Grocers – Dewars

Stationers- Mr & Miss Mackie

Bruce – Plumbers

Post Office

Bank Street

Cummings – Drapers

Harris – Barbers

Adamson – Bakers

2 x Pubs and 2 x Banks


Hudsons – Dairy                                                               Lows – Grocers

Brattasani                                                                          Cummings – Grocers

Stationers                                                                          Later Boullet – Bakers

Bruce – Grocer                                                                  Thomson – China Shop

Donaldsons – Painters                                                      Hairdresser later 30’s


Julia Campbell (Cupar, September 2010)

10 thoughts on “PERSONAL RECOLLECTIONS: Shops & businesses circa 1930s

  1. Dear Julia . So very interesting to read your recollections . Bruce the plumbers you refer to consisted of my Grandfather Jock Bruce and his brother Andrew later joined by my father James. I think my great aunt Davine had a grocers shop on Bank Street . Later my grandfather bought a ships lifeboat and used to run trips for visitors from the harbour . My fathers cousin George Bruce ran a garage for cars on Bank St and also worked on the bins.
    Kind Regards Gordon Bruce

  2. Hi

    I’ve just seen this recollection. Do you, or does anyone, know anything more about Donaldsons, the painters from Earlsferry (and Elie)? I’d love to hear about the shop, or even a photo???

    Many thanks.

    1. Hi Jan
      Tom Donaldson was a great friend of my grandfather Jock Bruce ( Plumber from 11 Bank Street) Tom was provost at one time and my grandfather was a baillie. Tom used to call in to take my papa out for a drink much to the anger and distress of my granny Isabella who was a strong character. Tom built a house in a large walled garden at the end of Earlsferry where the two roads meet. Eventually he succumbed to dementia brought on according to my granny be excessive drinking. I recollect him as a lovely funny man with a very red face. Gordon Bruce

      1. How lovely to hear your comments – thank you. Yes, Tom did enjoy a wee dram or two. I only met him once with my husband, who was Tom’s nephew. I also recall his red face. I expect too, that the lead in the paint (his earlier painting jobs) may have contributed to dementia. Do you by any chance recall his father – William Given Donaldson, or his sister – Violet Donaldson? Good to hear your recollections though, so thank you.

    2. Remember that well.Just adjacent to Adamsons the bakers. It was a holiday treat for myself to get a beard after a haircut. My father said they used to take bets in the barbers when it was illegal ! Gordon Bruce

  3. I remember being taken for haircuts along the road in Bank Street (would that have been Mr Harris?). He was an ex stage ventriloquist and there was a wee man in his strop cabinet who I swear I heard threatening to come out if we didn’t sit still and behave. Before we left he gave us (the boys) a beard and moustache with greasepaint.

  4. Remember that well.Just adjacent to Adamsons the bakers. It was a holiday treat for myself to get a beard after a haircut. My father said they used to take bets in the barbers when it was illegal ! Gordon Bruce

  5. The entry “Graham – bakers” and “Shoe shop – Nan Graham’s” interested me.
    My father Hugh Graham, and his father before him, owned a bakery – I think at the rear of 23-25 High Street. My father left the bakery probably about 1950, not long after I was born (1948) so that he did not have to travel from Edinburgh. We came to Australia in 1961. 29 High Street I remember as the family home, and I think 23 High Street was where my aunt had a grocery shop. Was this the shoe shop and was Nan Graham related to my father?

    George Graham

  6. This is so very interesting. Thank You for posting.
    I am especially interested in McCallum Butcher Shop as they were my great uncles.
    I wonder if you knew the family?
    My grandmother was born in Elie in 1900 and was Jean McCallum / her father had McCallum Grocers. Her brothers were slightly older and she had a younger sister Mattie ( Matilda)
    The family lived above the grocer shop until they moved to Hopwood on Park Place.
    My father Eric Grant was born in 1924 and was evacuated to Elie from Edinburgh and attended Anstruther High School.
    My daughter has just purchased Hopwood and it has reignited our interest and passion for this wonderful place.

  7. Hi Fionna
    Thanks for your request. Unfortunately, I do not have any recollection or knowledge of the McCallum family.
    I was 13 when we came to Australia in 1961, and had only visited my grandmother (Graham) and aunt (Wilhelmina Graham of the grocery store) perhaps a couple of times a year prior to leaving. As a young lad I probably took little or no notice of others around me at the time.
    Sorry I could not be of help.

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