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Weekly highlights town centre’s plight with front page roll call

A roll call of more than 30 businesses to have deserted a weekly’s patch adorned its front page as the newspaper pondered how the collapse of British Homes Stores could affect the area.

The Fife Free Press published the list on yesterday’s front, pictured below, to highlight the plight of Kirkcaldy town centre.

BHS, which went into administration on Monday putting 11,000 jobs at risk, opened its first Scottish store in Kirkcaldy in 1964.

The ideas of the roll call of names started as a side piece to the main feature written by Maggie Millar, which covered local reaction to the company’s demise.

Fife shops

Editor Allan Crow said: “The list was quickly added to by staff across the departments – and that gave us the idea to use it as a front page on its own right. It soon became a page that had much more impact than any pic of the shop ever would.

“With some staff having been born and bred in Kirkcaldy we tapped into their knowledge of traders from a generation or more ago – as well as big names such as Argos, McDonald’s HMV, we were able to throw in evocative names from the past such as the Green Cockatoo cafe which was a great local landmark, and all the traditional names on the High Street which are still remembered.”

The page was designed by Phil Smith at the Johnston Press Sheffield design hub.

Allan added: “It was his idea to drop the small BHS shop front image and go with text only.

“It was a good shout – the power of the written word made this a real stand out front page, and one that generated immediate reaction from readers and also businesses in the town centre, some of whom felt it portrayed the town centre negatively. They liked the coverage but not the front cover.

“Thanks to readers’ responses our roll call of businesses which have left the town centre now stands at 50 – and these have been uploaded to our website where we hope to expand it further.”


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  • April 29, 2016 at 6:24 am

    “….The page was designed by Phil Smith at the Johnston Press Sheffield design hub.”
    Oh the irony

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  • April 29, 2016 at 7:27 am

    i`m not sure bold text in a block of “WOB” from the 1970s qualifies as “designed by” chaps,
    “design” is the one thing missing from the piece in all honesty
    come on

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  • April 29, 2016 at 12:28 pm


    It is easy fodder seen around the country this week due to BHS, how many are actual local companies leaving rather than the towns and cities being to blame?

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  • April 29, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    ‘ where we hope to expand it”
    He wants MORE closures?
    Rather then wallow in those that have left why not celebrate those still there and work to encourage others to come … or better still find out why so many have left?
    This isn’t a story at all as any town or city can list the vast number of business long gone from their town centres for one reason or another,certainly over any period of time
    Sorry to say all rather pointless and without purpose

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  • May 2, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    Hmmmmm when did Woolworths (missing S) and Comet close?
    Why have they missed off John Collier,Timothy White and Taylors,Somerfield,Freeman Hardy and Willis……and which businesses have replaced those mentioned?

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