Weather attracts roaring town trade

There's lots to look at for Nicola and Katie Watt pictured with dad Graeme
There's lots to look at for Nicola and Katie Watt pictured with dad Graeme

WITH glorious weather, the May Day holiday, and many enjoying an extra day off for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on the Friday, the crowds were out in Inverurie enjoying the sunshine and boosting trade in local shops, business, pubs and restaurants.

To get Inverurie into party “mode” for the Royal Wedding Inverurie traders invited local retailers to decorate windows and dress-up in best wedding attire to celebrate the big day.

A great effort was made, with union flags, and red, white and blue very much in evidence.

Friday began as busy as normal, but by mid-morning the streets emptied as most people chose to watch the big event at home on TV.

Keith Whyte of Mitchells told the Herald: “On Friday we had a quieter day as many people were obviously at home enjoying the Royal Wedding but we were very busy in the afternoon.

“We put on a special wedding day menu including bridal slice and Royal game soup, which went down well.”

Both Neil Ross, of Inverurie Tile Centre, and Scott Graham of McLeish, Inverurie also noticed that it was definitely quiet during the wedding.

Neil said: “We were quite busy first thing on Friday morning, but mid-morning until lunchtime it was very quiet, in fact I looked down the High Street and not a soul was going about!

“Then we had a normal afternoon, and the sales we had were very good”.

Scott added: “We were busy as usual early on Friday morning, but from about 8am onwards it was really quiet through to lunchtime, then we had our normal afternoon.

“I thought it was excellent that so many shops and businesses really entered into the spirit on Friday and joined in decorating windows and dressing up.”

Gibbs of Inverurie, for who gent’s wedding attire is a major part of their business, had a special Royal Wedding theme for their window decoration, although Prince William chose his military uniform over traditional Highland dress for his big day!

Robbie Gibb commented: “We ran a special wedding offer on Friday which was a success and was received really well by our customers.

“We had the wedding on in the shop and two women were trying to watch through the window, but had difficulty seeing the screen.

“They came in for a better view and we gave them a glass of wine, and they were delighted.”

It was business as usual at Thainstone, as Friday was a normal livestock auction day, however staff ensured that those attending could see the wedding.

ANM Group Communications Manager Bob Dow said: ““We had a normal market day on Friday, but we had TV screens dotted all over so people could catch the wedding as when they wanted.

“We also set up TV screens in the restaurant, and staff enjoyed a glass of champagne while watching.

“But it was also a normal market day which was very busy, selling more than 5000 head of livestock”

Saturday was another glorious day, and it saw the International Market in the town’s Market Place draw large crowds, with visitors from as far afield from Montrose, London and Wiltshire enjoying the sunshine and browsing the variety of stalls.

Local retailers, although aware that some of the stalls were in direct competition to their products, welcomed the increased number of visitors.

Scott Graham commented, “Saturday was an average day, the International Market caters for some of the same products as us, so it wasn’t really an advantage.” However he noted that anything that brought more people to the