Take a butcher’s at who’s back in Burntisland!

A family affair at Courts the butchers, from left Tom senior, Tom junior, Ellen, Calum and Matthew. Pics by FPA
A family affair at Courts the butchers, from left Tom senior, Tom junior, Ellen, Calum and Matthew. Pics by FPA

Three generations of a family of Burntisland butchers was welcomed back to the town this week.

Tom Courts Butchers moved into the former premises vacated by the retiral of Neil Cameron after 66 years in the town.

Father and son, Tom senior and junior

Father and son, Tom senior and junior

And as one family business closed up another opened with Tom Courts junior resurrecting the business first started by his father in the town 25 years ago.

And Mr Courts senior was there to lend a helping hand to his son and his nephew Calum Blake, who is also working in the family business, while Ellen (13), Tom’s daughter will start her first Saturday job at the shop at 213 High Street, at the opposite end from where his father ran a business from the early 1970s until 1992.

Mr Courts “retired” in 1992 to pursue other interests, and his son went to university to study accountancy, before taking a job with Fife Constabulary.

However just six months on from hanging up his apron, Mr Courts senior became bored of retirement .

He opened up a smaller business in Cowdenbeath where he traded very successfully.

Tom Courts junior continued to work part-time in the firm during his uni days and then worked for eight years as a policeman.

He explained: “In 2003 my dad had some heart problems and he offered me the opportunity to take on the business. Having served my apprenticeship, I took a gamble and took on the shop.

‘‘We expanded from just five employees to 25 staff.

“Over the next ten years we won many awards – more than any of our competitors – and I opened a second branch in Lochgelly, managed by Matthew, a long-serving employee.

‘‘They continued until last year.

“My wife suffered health problems and I needed to spend time with my family, so I sold the business to Blacks and took some much needed time off.

“I then took a job with Blacks in their Bathgate shop which I really enjoyed, but not the travelling which was too much.

“I knew Neil Cameron was looking to retire, so I bought the shop from him and here we are back in Burntisland. I still recognise many of the customers I served 30 years ago as an apprentice!

“We are a real family business and now are in our third generation with my nephew and daughter working here too.”

News of Courts’return to Burntisland was warmly welcomed in Burntisland with customers commenting through social media.

Margaret Gibb posted: “This brings back memories of when your dad started up in Burntisland,and he doesn’t look much different! Good luck to them all.”