Tribute to Dysart’s Duncan Glass

Duncan Glass from Dysart, who passed away last month
Duncan Glass from Dysart, who passed away last month

The former owner of one of Dysart’s best-known businesses, and a familiar face in the town, has passed away at the age of 84.

Duncan Glass, who was the owner of ‘Glass of Dysart’, a feature of the High Street for over 100 years, died suddenly on February 22.

He was born on November 3, 1931 in Dysart where he attended the local primary school before moving up to Kirkcaldy High School.

After completing his National Service, where he was a wireless operator in Germany, he joined his father in the family business, which had been established in the town since the 1800s.

Eventually Duncan took it over along with his brother, Donald, and the pair built it up from a grocery and moved into the wine and spirits market. It was their enthusiasm and energy which made the business such a huge success and a landmark in the burgh.

He married Jane Browne, from Burntisland, in June 1956. They had two children, daughter Lesley and son Donald.

After many successful years, a period of ill-health forced Duncan to take early retirement and he passed the business onto Donald and his nephew, also called Duncan, in 1990.

Mr Glass was a man with many hobbies. He kept bees and had, at one stage, 30 hives, which in itself was almost a full-time job.

But his main passion was fishing, both river and sea. He fished every week on the River Tay and also had a boat and would regularly take it out on salmon fishing trips. He was the winner of the first Tay Salmon Conservation Award, which was presented to him at Scone Palace. He was the founder of the Tay Ghillie’s Association in 1998 and a member of both Dysart and Burntisland Sailing clubs and, more recently, kept his boat at West Wemyss harbour.

Duncan also loved to spend time gardening and also helped to look after his two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He is survived by wife Jane, daughter Lesley and son Donald.

His funeral took place on Monday at Kirkcaldy Crematorium.

One of Duncan’s proudest moments came when he was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for his charity and conservation work with the Tay Ghillie’s Association where he was founder, secretary and treasurer.

After he was able to gain charitable status he worked hard to raised hundreds of thousands of pounds, personally donating prizes for auctions and raffles.

He fished and worked on the Tay for over 60 years.