By RYAN TAYLOR
The former manager of a butcher shop which closed down despite enjoying an exceptional Christmas is launching a bid to take over the business himself.
Kevin Sandison ran James S Smith in Commercial Street for two years after the business was taken over by Orkney-based farming company G&A Henry Ltd.
The company, headed by Mr Sandison’s uncle Graham Henry, stepped in when previous butcher Alex Wiseman retired after 26 years in the business.
The venture did not last long, however, and on Christmas Eve solicitors for G&A Henry petitioned the sheriff in Kirkwall to wind up the company and agree the appointment of an interim liquidator.
Now Mr Sandison, who last week said the town centre would suffer if it could not support a butcher shop, is making a bid to take over the company.
“I’m going to try to take it over. I’ll have to go to the liquidator to put in a bid for it. It needs to continue as normal.
Although Mr Sandison was given charge of the Commercial Street shop – as well as the company’s other premises in Commercial Road – he said he had been given no reason for the shop’s closure on 31st December.
“That I’ve had no dealings with whatsoever. I’m not aware of the whole situation.”
Asked whether he thought he should, as manager, have been better informed of the owner’s intentions he said: “Perhaps. But at the end of the day they’ve [G&A Henry] done it for their own reasons, and I’ll just have to try and get back some sort of business.”
Last week Mr Sandison said the shop had enjoyed an exceptionally busy period in the run up to Christmas, with 500 customers coming through the door on 23rd December.
“The shop is a very busy shop,” he said.
The loss of James S Smith leaves the Globe as the sole remaining butcher shop in Lerwick – a town which once played host to 13 butchers.