Forty years of sterling service to the Mearns farming and business community was recognised on Friday night at a dinner at the Panmure Arms, Edzell.
Ed Watson, owner of the Fettercairn Garage and his car mechanic, John “Jock” Johnston, have retired from the business and were the guests of their many loyal clients and the recipients of two handsome cheques.
Ed came to the village agedseven when his parents became tenants of the small village dairy at Bolspark. He set up his own agricultural engineering company, initially with partner Gordon Johnston and latterly as sole owner.
Despite his lack of any formal engineering training, Ed became a legend in the Howe for his engineering, blacksmithing, building, draining and plumbing skills and his innovative mind brought many unique solutions to problems on the Mearns farms.
Jock Johnston moved to the Crystal Dairy, Fettercairn, with his parents which brought him to the local primary school. On leaving Mearns Academy aged 15, he served his apprenticeship as a mechanic at Simpsons Garage, Brechin and, after 10 years, joined Ed at the Garage some 38 years ago.
Jock also brought character to his job with his smile, his loyalty, unique wave and his willingness to help any one at any time. Many vehicles with seemingly terminal problems had their lives extended by him.
Ed was joined by his wife of 47 years, Madge, and his family. The dinner was organised by Ann and Fraser Middleton, Alex Reid, John McWilliam and Jim Brown.