End of era as garage closes

THORNWOOD Motors closed its doors this week with the loss of 20 jobs.

Rumours about the future of the company were circulating last weekend and the worst fears were confirmed on Tuesday when liquidators moved in to the premises on Commercial Road.

Two transporters had already removed cars from the showroom and forecourt the previous day, while parts were cleared from the workshop.

Owner Ken Russell said: "After experiencing what was a very difficult trading year in 2008 the company faced an unpredictable outlook for 2009 directly due to the current economic recession and credit crisis.

"Despite having made strenuous efforts with the full backing of Volkswagen UK, the directors have been unable to find a buyer for the business, as a result of which Volkswagen have formally withdrawn their financial support and the company together with its bankers are now in the process of winding up the business and having a liquidator appointed.

"The directors of the company are extremely saddened by these events, having been involved with the business for 34 years, and they would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the many customers for their loyalty over all the years and to thank all the employees at Thornwood for their magnificent efforts in making the company one of the most successful and instantly recognised in the Scottish Borders and beyond."

Thornwood Motors was started by Cyril Elliott 53 years ago at the bottom of Weensland Road, where the Dalgleish garage is now situated.

It moved to its current one-acre site at the west end of Commercial Road in the 1970s. Apart from new and used car sales, the firm operated a repairs garage, body shop and parts department.

Former employee and Hawick councillor George Turnbull said: "It's very sad news. I worked there on two occasions, away back in the 1970s before I was married when it was down Weensland and I was there two or three years ago.

"They were the second oldest Volkswagen dealership in Scotland and they were a long established garage, there were some people who had been there ever since they left school.

"It was a very close-knit team and it's certainly very sad to see the company's demise."