John Gibson: Looks like a cracker at Crombies

Sandy and Jonathan Crombie
Sandy and Jonathan Crombie
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NOBODY does it better. Christmas inevitably is a cracker for Crombies, masterly butchers since 1955. I’m in their upstairs office and it’s not just a shop at the foot of Broughton Street, their original headquarters, and it’s not just a “shop”. Call it an emporium.

I’m hearing wise words from a couple of old heads, uttered by the manager Jonathan Crombie and predecessor Sandy Crombie, retired early this year.

“Retired? The word isn’t in his vocabulary,” snaps his son. “He’s in sharp every day, revelling in the trade, still.”

Jointly they are bracing themselves for Christmas. Like a blizzard, they hit me with an avalanche of stats for the approaching season. Some 1,200 birds (to be consumed over two days), five thousand steak pies and 200,000 chipolatas in the run-up to the 25th.

Jonathan adds: “We’ve noticed the downturn, sure. People are still spending, only they’re much more selective. They’ll buy, but it’s got to be quality. There’s got to be a certain certainty in an uncertain world. That’s our motto for the moment.”

The Crombies are old school ties. One’s a Watsonian, the other’s a Herioter. They’ll talk football, too, but not with Christmas and brisk business imminent.

Heard it, Dave

Don’t panic, don’t panic but do dig out you grandad’s Vera Lynn albums, get these gas masks recycled and keep a steel helmet under the bed.

David ‘‘Call me Dave’’ Cameron, characteristically all hot air, is shouting about “invoking wartime spirit on growth”.

Heard it all before, Dave. A Churchillian gesture that gets the nation nowhere. God help us all.