Tax manager retires after 47 years with GWA

Iain Turnbull, centre, with Greaves West and Ayre partner Alan Patterson and tax manager Derek Simpson.
Iain Turnbull, centre, with Greaves West and Ayre partner Alan Patterson and tax manager Derek Simpson.

Iain Turnbull, a tax manager at Greaves West & Ayre in Berwick, has just retired after nearly 47 years of service.

Iain, who lives in Eyemouth, is married to Fiona and has a step daughter, Nicola, and two grandchildren, Abbie and Lewis.

After completing his education at Eyemouth and Berwickshire High Schools, Iain joined Greaves West & Ayre in November 1968 as a tax clerk.

Before he left on April 30 we asked him a few questions about his career.

What led to you taking up a position at Greaves West & Ayre?

I had left school and was helping pick potatoes at Acredale Farm in Eyemouth when I heard that Greaves West & Ayre were looking for someone. I remember leaving the machine and using the farmhouse phone to call partner the late Gordon Ayre to arrange an interview. I was appointed and shortly began my first and only position of employment.

What are the main changes that you have seen in the time you have been with us?

The biggest change is the growth of the practice. When I started I think there were only four partners and approximately 20 members of staff all working out of the Sandgate office. Now of course there are 10 partners and nearly 90 members of staff operating from six offices. The use of technology is the other major change. Accounts production has moved from being an entirely manual process to where we now use computers for everything. The way in which staff are trained has also changed from my day. I was expected to learn on the job, picking things up as I went along. I remember that former partner Jim Coats had a great way of patiently going over things until the penny dropped. I am also indebted to the late Bill Renton for his instruction in accounts preparation and former colleague Lawrence Pearson for his help with tax.

Who do you admire most, in and out of work?

Former Rangers player, the late Sandy Jardine is one of my all-time heroes. In work I had huge respect for the late Bill Renton who was a great colleague and a real gentleman. Apart from that I greatly admire an old family friend Allan Todd who lives in Canada, for his values, opinions and the fact he is still fit and healthy at the age of 93.

What will you miss most about GWA?

Apart from the wages – the banter. The camaraderie between staff has always been one of the best things about working at Greaves West & Ayre.

Have you any plans for your retirement?

I’m looking forward to relaxing while having more time for my hobbies which include gardening and walking. Immediate plans include sorting out the garden and a trip to Canada.

All of the partners and staff at Greaves West & Ayre wish Iain a long, healthy and happy retirement.