A veteran of the window sector is celebrating 45 years of service this month at one of Galashiels’ leading home improvement specialists.
Steve Scott has worked under three generations of family ownership during his four decades at Mitchell Glass in Currie Road, moving from an apprentice fabricator in 1978 to production manager and his current position as Technical Manager and Surveyor.
His time at the business has included being the chief pie runner for the workers to interviewing legendary Scottish footballer John Collins for a job and installing a conservatory for Sean Connery’s son Jason.
The 61-year-old, who has only recently retired from being a retained firefighter in the town, has no plans to leave the industry and is looking forward to helping the company continue its growth across Edinburgh, The Lothians, and the Scottish Borders.
“I saw an advert in a local newspaper and went for an interview with Bill Fisher (the current MD’s grandfather) when I was just 16. Think I must have done ok as he offered me an apprenticeship and I’ve been here ever since,” explained Steve, who enjoys cycling and spending time with his family outside of work.
“There has been a lot changes. When I first started Mitchells was more of a fancy goods shop located in the main town, but over the years we increasingly moved into more glazing and home improvement products, moving to our current site on the outskirts of the town.”
He continued: “I’ve gone from fetching the pies that kept the workers on the shopfloor motivated to being head of all our technical enquiries and, sometimes, challenges. With thousands of installations under my belt, there’s not many situations and frames I haven’t fitted.”
Steve Scott’s career at Mitchell Glass is synonymous with the culture the company has tried to instil and which has led to it being recently reaccredited to the Silver Investors in People and the Gold Investors in Young People Awards.
Recognised as Scotland’s oldest glazing businesses, the company invests heavily in making sure its 25-strong workforce is highly trained.
This includes taking on multiple apprentices and creating a new personal development programme that allows everyone in the company to build new skills and have clear progression routes.
The approach is paying off, with the firm demonstrating resilience in a tough property market by improving operational efficiency and customer service.
Lewis Roden, the fourth-generation family owner of Mitchell Glass, added: “Steve continues to be a massive and important part of our business…there is literally no technical question or challenge he can’t get to the bottom of.
“I can remember visiting the factory as a child and he was such a big presence on the shopfloor and, some twenty years on, he is still a great person to have in the offices and dealing with customers. I just wish he would stay for another 45 years.”
Mitchell Glass became the first Scottish retailer to join the Conservatory Outlet in 2011 and continue to be one of the fastest-growing companies in the 30-strong network.
Greg Kane, CEO of Conservatory Outlet, concluded: “We want to wish Steve a very happy 45-year celebration and can only thank him for the expertise and passion he has brought to all his dealings with our company.
“People really do make a business and it often translates into the quality of service delivered to customers. I think we all wish we had more ‘Steves’ in our companies.”