John Gibson: So sad that it’s putting up shutters

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We’re not talking untold millions. But, yes, there’s a shop on Musselburgh’s High Street that’s raised a helluva lot for charity. Hearing Dogs for the Deaf closes after five years on March 29 and it’s paws for deep regret.

The shop, all ground level on the High Street itself through almost to the river bank at the back, has been staffed entirely by volunteers led by the charity’s branch chairwoman, Janie McGregor.

Staffed by individuals with big hearts, including Jackie and Stevie, they prefer first names only, as they are known to legions of customers loyal over the years.

Hearing Dogs is a nationwide charity, this year celebrating its 30th anniversary, patronised by Princess Anne. It trains dogs to act as the ears of their owners, alerting them to the likes of smoke alarms and doorbells.

Says the charity’s van driver, Stevie, 45: “We’ve been here from the start. All volunteers. No wages. All our expenses have been covered by the shop. We plan to sell our entire stock up to March 29. What’s left will go to other charity shops. It’s a pity. Hearing Dogs will be sorely missed on the town’s High Street by staff and customers from far and wide alike.”

Marr the merrier

To listen to Andy Marr (on the Jonathan Ross Show), he comes over as kind of bionic man, result of the stroke he suffered last year. He’s a fighter, though, witness his ongoing stint on Sunday mornings. Perhaps, though, it’s high time the BBC should consider getting him off that motorbike or scooter they persist in using to introduce the programme. Also, the wearisome signature music. Past its listen-by.

Meantime, good on yer Andy. And bravo for campaigning for physio for everybody. The staff have a comedic recollecion of my physio antics at their classes for the rickety at the Western General.