Newtyle butcher Jim Pirie

Newtyle man Jim Pirie, who until only a few years ago was Britain’s oldest working butcher, has died at the age of 91.

Born in the Perthshire village of Stanley in June 1919, he started work as a butcher in 1933 aged 14 and only finally hung up his apron at the age of 87.

Since 1963 he had run his own business in Newtyle, first in North Street and then after his son Alan joined the business in 1965 from premises in Church Street.

During his working life Mr Pirie amassed no fewer than 131 UK and international awards — with the highlight coming in 2005 when the business won the Scottish Sausage Championship and Scottish Haggis Championship.

The Pirie family business in Newtyle has expanded over the years to include a grocery outlet and the village post office.

Mr Pirie’s career started with him working in shops in Crieff and Stanley. He was conscripted to the RAF before the outbreak of the second world war and served in England and on the Forth.

During this latter posting he met Janet, who lived in Dunfermline, and they were married in 1946.

He was a keen sportsman and in his younger days Mr Pirie played badminton in the Crieff and Strathmore leagues. He was a regular curler and was an honorary president of Kirkinch and Nevay Curling Club.

Angling, however, was his first sporting love and he fished not only on local lochs and rivers including the Tay but all over Scotland.

Until recently a highlight of his year was an annual trip to Halkirk in Caithness to fish the Thurso.

Mr Pirie is survived by son Alan, daughter-in-law Norma and grandchildren Catriona and Gordon.

Published in the Courier : 11.03.11
Published online : 13.03.11 @ 01.45pm
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3 Responses to Newtyle butcher Jim Pirie

  1. John says:

    R.I.P.Jim. Some years since we last met — 1999 I think it was — in the shop and an excellent couple of pies you gave me at the time. Enjoyed the few badminton games we played – opposing teams of course both in Newtyle and in Perth. I must now be going back into the ’60s.
    Well just found out about your passing and this tragic loss to the village community.

    R.I.P. Jim
    John

  2. Mike Bridgewater says:

    I originally left Newtyle in 1987, then returned in 1988 to leave again in 1995. There is plenty I miss from “Pirie’s the Butcher” just to name a few, the beef sausages, one of my favorites Ayreshire middle bacon, minute steak, lorne sausage, black pudding and of course Jim’s Haggis. Anytime I was home Jim would always greet me as if it were the previous day I was in the shop and asking “what part of the world are in you now Michael?” It is truly amazing how Jim and Alan have kept the butcher shop open all these years with the pressures of the supermarkets. Jim’s sausages, bacon and Haggis have traveled the world with me, nicely vacuumed packed and tucked away in my suitcase undetected by customs at destination! It would never last long, I’d scoff the lot inside a week!

    We had such wonderful shops in Newtyle growing up. “Lybie’s grocery” next door to the butcher, “Kerr’s” which was a 7/11 back in the day and lets not forget the Bakery. I’ve never had rolls like it ever since it closed, hot morning rolls, the lemon slices, bakewell tarts, apple turnovers, eclairs, without a doubt the best produce within a 20 mile radius and beyond.

    I will never forget Jim, I hope Alan continues with the family success and I can’t wait to get home (maybe christmas this year?) and pay a visit to my favorite butcher shop in the entire world!

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