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THE ARRAN BANNER 20 YEARS AGO

Saturday February 21, 1998

Brothers bow out

It is the end of an era for William Mc Nicol and Sons, one of Arran’s oldest family firms.

The company was established as a plumbing business in Brodick in 1922 and, after William died in 1956, his sons took over. Now all three of them have decided to hang up their plungers and draining rods and, as Henry, Archie and Ian Mc Nicol retire, one of the most traditional and idiosyncratic businesses will change.

It will continue under the next generation of sons, Henry’s son Bill and Ian’s son Alan but, although working under the same umbrella name, Bill and Alan will be doing plumbing, heating and roofing. Grandfather Colin came to Arran from Ardrossan at the turn of the century. His son William returned from the First World War and set up Wm Mc Nicol. As Henry, Archie and Ian grew up, the roles evolved, with Henry looking after the plumbing and Ian the heating, while Archie looked after the accounts. Over the years, Archie has been a tireless fighter to save Brodick beach, which was in danger of disappearing because of sand extraction.

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