Obituary: John Ferrier, former bar owner, 77

John Ferrier, the former owner of The Scottie Lounge Bar, who devoted 70 years to working with young people in the Capital, has died, aged 77.

Mr Ferrier was born in James Close in the Lawnmarket, one of five children. His family later moved to Craigmillar where he attended Craigmillar Primary School and Niddrie Marischal secondary.

His father, also John, died in Poland in 1942 escaping from a prisoner of war camp and his mother, Elizabeth, had to work hard to bring up the children on her own, including picking "tatties" in fields. Mr Ferrier became a father figure to his siblings and did his best to make sure that they never went without.

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As a boy and young man he was involved in Sandy's Boys Club, now known as the Castleview Community Centre, playing football, boxing and wrestling for the club. The wrestling wing of the club became the Milton Wrestling Club and he became a coach there and went on to wrestle in the Highland Games. He continued his involvement with the Boys Club for 70 years, latterly becoming its honorary president.

While living in Craigmillar, he met Mary. They were childhood sweethearts and she became the love of his life. She shared his enthusiasm for Heart of Midlothian, a passion that lasted a lifetime. They married and had three children - John, Derek and Janette.

After he left school Mr Ferrier became an apprentice plasterer with George Urquhart's and developed a skill for decorative plaster work. He later opened a plasterers business with his brother Edward called J&E Ferrier's in Northfield Broadway. During this time he became president of the Edinburgh Plasterers Federation.

Always looking for the next business opportunity, he then bought Scotties Guest House at the corner of the Broadway and later the newsagent next door. After a few years he turned both premises into The Scottie Lounge Bar. He opened it on December 1, 1980 and the pub became almost a community centre for locals.

Later John and Mary opened Broadfields next door to the Scottie, which they ran until he took a much deserved retirement. They had a marvellous life together until Mary's death five years ago. Mr Ferrier fondly remembered their trips on Concorde, the QE2 and The Orient Express and other wonderful holidays.

Mr Ferrier passed away peacefully in his own home with his family around him.

He achieved much in his life but he considered his greatest achievement to be his family - his children, his daughters-in-law Janet and Catherine, his son-in-law Paul, his grandchildren Stephanie, Adam, Daniel, Martin and Rebecca and his great-grandchildren Josh, Junior, Jamie, Ben and Emily. He will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.