J T Young..... and Garages
John T Young was one of Newport’s best-known business-men. He was the son of William Young who for many years at the turn of the twentieth century was the tenant of the Seamills smiddy at the pier-head. By 1896 John had established a successful cycle repair business on the High Road.
The new century however brought huge expansion as he embraced the new motor industry, and in the early 1900s he expanded down to Boat Road with the building of his garage there. Soon he was acknowledged as the local motoring expert, and after further rapid expansion on Boat Road the whole area below his cycle shed on the High Road would be occupied by his garage, workshop and showroom. A significant presence in Boat Road for most of the 20th century, the J T Young premises were demolished in the 1980s to make way for the Scotscraig apartments.
Business and Pleasure
Motoring provided not only business but pleasure too. J T Young was an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club and his driving licence was one of the earliest issued by Fife County Council. In the 1920s his position in the motoring world was recognised by his peers when he was made president of the Scottish Motor Trades Association.
Contribution to Village life.
Throughout his life he played an active part in village affairs, being especially involved for many years in the cycling and curling clubs, for both of which he was secretary and treasurer. He was a member of Forgan Liberal Association, and he served on the Town Council almost continuously from 1919 until 1941. This included his service as Provost from 1931 until 1934. Interestingly, he was the first Provost to have been born and bred in Newport. He was also an Honorary Life Member of the Newport Club.
Collie’s Garage in Wormit
There was another very successful garage business in Wormit. Like J T Young, George Collie’s motor and garage business developed from an earlier enterprise, but in his case it was from a stabling, horse-hiring and livery business. In the early 1900s he combined this with his first ventures into motor transport, but within a very few years he was concentrating on his motor business. From his premises on Naughton Road, now Don the blacksmith’s workshop, he hired out cars, taxis and charabancs, and ran connecting bus services to the trains in Wormit and the ferries in Newport.