Buttercups: A lasting legacy

l ALTHOUGH the last Buttercup shop closed almost 50 years ago, decorative features from some have stood the test of time. Around 20 of the original shops have retained lobby tiles, and at least 14 have the original “girl and cow” mural.

l At the Meadows Lamp Gallery, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh, Scott Robertson discovered an area of tiling when he acquired the premises in 1993.

l Intrigued there could be something special under layers of paint, he set about removing four coats to reveal the design, pictured right.

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l The former Buttercup shop in Comiston Road, Edinburgh – now Craiglea Clocks – also has a mural, and owner Ronnie Rafter is committed to preserving it.

l Other examples can be seen in towns including Biggar, Bo’ness, Denny, Dunbar and Glasgow.

l Shop conservation specialist Dr Lindsay Lennie says every effort should be made to save Buttercup tiles: “Preferably in situ where the original context often provides the best situation for their conservation. The Buttercup Dairy tiles were designed by Scotland’s most important tile firm, James Duncan Ltd. It’s remarkable that they have endured as these shops often changed hands numerous times. This is testament to the aesthetically appealing design and high quality of the tiles.”

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