Shared space roadworks force Rag Doll fashion shop owner out - after 47 years

Photo Emma Mitchell 7.11.16
Rag doll
Photo Emma Mitchell 7.11.16 Rag doll

The well known owner of a popular Kirkintilloch fashion store is shutting shop because of the shared space roadworks – after 47 years in business.

Much respected local businesswoman Jane Graham of the Rag Doll at Cowgate says the work, which began in February, has been “a disaster” for the town and for her business.

She told the Herald takings have dropped so drastically that she cannot afford to continue to operate.

It’s the end of an era as the store, which is renowned for quality fashion and jewellery, will shut for good on Monday, November 28.

Jean said: “I would have stayed on longer but for the shared space. It has forced me out. That’s the reason I am retiring.

“I think it’s an absolute disgrace what they have done to the town centre.”

According to Jean, the high street is like a ghost town at the weekend.

She said: “Nobody is around and my takings are substantially down on a Saturday.

“It’s very upsetting that after 47 years my business has ended in this way.”

The shop owner slammed East Dunbartonshire Council for failing to consult her and other businesses about the work being carried out.

She said: “I didn’t know what was happening until I saw the notice on a lamp-post. No one from the council came near me to consult with me about it.”

Jean, who confesses she is a bit camera-shy, started up the Rag Doll way back in 1969 in partnership with a friend, and then took it on by herself.

She has been a familiar fixture on the local high street, with a regular and steady stream of clientelle, until the roadworks began.

Jean paid tribute to her customers.

She said: “I have had a lot of really good customers over the years. I will miss all the people who have come into my shop.”

She added: “My customers are as angry about the shared space works as I am. It’s very sad to see this kind of independent shop going. I catered for a lot of older ladies who don’t want to have to go into the city centre.”

Thomas Glen, Depute Chief Executive - Place, Neighbourhood & Corporate Assets, said: “We have liaised extensively with local businesses, residents and the

Kirkintilloch Town Centre Champions since the Masterplan began to evolve in

2011.

“Pedestrian access is being maintained throughout the current works - with arrangements in place for people using public transport and vehicles - and I hope people continue to support Kirkintilloch town centre.

“In addition, Council support is available to local traders through Business Gateway, with a range of services on offer. I would urge

businesses to get in touch by calling 0300 123 4510.”