AFTER nearly 40 years spent serving the community in Dollar and wider Clackmannanshire, local butcher Brian Devlin is hanging up his apron.

More than 300 people turned out to wave him goodbye on Saturday, June 10 during a farewell barbecue and party organised to mark his retirement.

They gathered at his shop on Station Road, Dollar, to pay him thanks and there were burgers, sausages, Prosecco, songs from Hillfoot Harmony and celebrations to be had.

Friend and regular customer Alison Coutts presented Brian with an outstanding gift on behalf of the community, saying "we all know that at the shop there are no customers, just friends".

Dollar, Muckhart and the surrounding areas clubbed together and gave him £3000 in Ramsay World Travel gift vouchers, amongst other things, to show their appreciation.

Brian said: "I'm totally gobsmacked at what everybody has done for me."

Brought up in Tillicoultry, now living in Bridge of Allan, he has been in Dollar with his business for 39 years.

The 66-year-old is handing it over to new owner, who he has worked with for around 37 years, Craig Fagan.

He has some holiday time and golfing lined up and although there are some things he will be sad to leave behind, the 3.30am starts won't be one.

He said: "I'm going to miss my customers.

"They are not just customers, a lot of them are my friends now, and that's the kind of thing I'm going to miss is the interaction with them."

There have been lots of lovely highlights for him throughout his time, including being named in the Queen’s New Year Honours list, receiving a British Empire Medal for services to the community.

He also opened Dollar Gala Day twice, including the 2017 event a couple of weeks ago, and pays tribute to the community.

He said: "The people are excellent – I can't say enough good things about Dollar.

"It's just been great for me, the people have been so kind to me." 

Dollar Community Council said it had the privilege of having Brian as the guest of honour at the summer event, a role he "played magnificently". 

A spokesperson said: "Having kept his emotions in check, as he's not into public speaking, it was great to hear his kind words and open our gala. 

"Many of us from the community council were able to attend Brian's farewell bash outside his shop in Station Road. 

"It was great to see so many people turning out to wish Brian a happy retirement."

He wished him all the best in his retirement, with sincere thanks for being "such a great friend to the people of Dollar".

He added: "Brian has been an absolute stalwart to the community as many groups will provide testament to. 

"He has provided a fantastic shop selling fantastic produce of excellent quality, but more than that he has for us supported every community event we delivered for as long as we can remember. 

"Dollar Community Council would like to thank all the community groups and all individuals in and around Dollar for their contributions to a retirement gift and we sincerely hope he will make good use of his gift, I'm sure he will."

Although too many to name individually, Brian paid note to all the community has done for him.

He said: "Just an enormous thanks for everybody who has donated for my retirement and who has given me gifts – I can't thank them enough."