Building sell-off forces Hawick bridalwear business to shut up shop

Brian Barry at Borders Brides in Hawick.
Brian Barry at Borders Brides in Hawick.

The owners of a Borders wedding dress shop have been forced to call it a day as they’re about to be made homeless.

Border Brides, at the end of Hawick High Street, is to cease trading at the end of next month after almost two decades in business.

It’s a decision not being taken lightly by Brian Barry and Patricia Paterson, its owners for the past four years since taking over from Lynne Cook.

They’re only shutting up shop because the owner of the Tower Knowe building, formerly a bank, has put it up for sale for offers around £120,000.

Brian and Patricia have looked at potential venues to relocate to. However, no viable alternative could be found in Hawick that matched the spaciousness of the current facility, and other sites looked at in Selkirk, Galashiels, Jedburgh and Kelso did “not cut the mustard”, said director Brian, 67.

He now plans to retire and spend more time with wife Anne.

The father of three, of Darnick, near Melrose, had wanted to carry on a little longer in an industry but now accepts that won’t be possible.

He said: “The plan was to keep it going, but it wasn’t to be. The places we saw just didn’t cut the mustard, with either no heating, no toilets or poor access. We just couldn’t find anywhere that matched what we have here.

“It’s a fabulous industry to be in. It’s such a buzz to make someone’s day, and I’m leaving with something of a heavy heart, although it will be good to get back my independence.”

During their time at the helm, Barry and Patricia introduced a kilt and formal gents’ hire department and set high customer service and satisfaction as key business goals.

Border Brides will close on Thursday, February 28, but it is guaranteeing that every bride awaiting a gown or bridesmaids’ dresses will have her contract fulfilled and will not be “disappointed or forgotten”.

A stock clearance will be held from tomorrow.

Barry added: “Border Brides would like to thank everyone who showed us such great support for our shop, and to all our brides this year or next, we wish you a very enjoyable wedding day.”