Town 'on the map' after scooping best butcher and train station awards

Wemyss Bay sealed two national awards for locations situated just a few hundred yards apart.

A town is celebrating after being crowned UK champion twice – on the same street.

Wemyss Bay Railway Station has been voted the best loved in the UK having beaten competition from 47 others in the first ever “World Cup” of the most beloved locations from around the country.

But it was double success as McCaskie’s Butchers, located just yards away, made mincemeat of the competition in the “Butcher Shop of the Year” awards.

The ScotRail managed station – which is renowned for its Victorian architecture – scooped the gong, presented by the Rail Delivery Group, for the efforts of staff during volunteer work, the development of a “vibrant and colourful” community garden and the founding of a station bookshop.

The competition brought together locations from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales as part of a nationwide vote, with the award presented to the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station group and ScotRail by TV historian Tim Dunn.

Dugald Cameron said people from all over the world had visited the station.

Dugald Cameron, whose wife Nancy created the group in 2009, said the location provided “evocative” memories for those who use it regularly.

“The station means a lot more than popular imagination might suppose,” he said.

“We have people from all over the world who have come to sign the visitors book because they remember their trips to Rothesay, where you would get the train to Wemyss Bay before getting on the ferry.

“These are childhood memories that stick in the mind. And it’s a signature building that sticks in the mind. The architectural detailing was done by James Miller, who designed huge parts of Glasgow.

“I remember as a wee boy, my mum took me to Millport, it would have been about 1946, that is my earliest memory. It is just a nice place to be.”

Across the road, the local butchers secured a double at the Meat Trades Journal awards, picking up gongs for the best in Scotland and the UK.

Nigel Ovens said the awards had 'put Wemyss Bay on the map'.

McCaskie’s, which has been providing choice cuts in the town since 1935, was honoured for its “teamwork, leadership and innovation” at the ceremony in Birmingham.

Nigel Ovens, whose grandfather started the business, said the award came as a “total shock”.

“It was a total surprise even to win the Scottish section, it is such a high standard of competition, but to go on and win the UK award was incredible,” he added.

“It puts us on the map, but I think what makes it really special is that is a beautiful location.

“Wemyss Bay is not a big place, but we have the best butcher’s shop, the best station; it’s brilliant for such a small village.”

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