Robert Mitchell was born in Kinross in 1848. He ran away from home at the age of 14 and served his time as a Glazier in Edinburgh. Later he moved to the Scottish Borders and set up business in Hawick. Few would have imagined Robert would lay the foundations for what would become the longest established glazing business in Scotland.
Robert continued to develop the business and also shape the community around him. He built new premises in Hawick to accommodate the different elements of the company and also became a prominent member of the local community. In 1884 he became Town Councillor, in 1887 he was Baillie and in 1896, Provost of Hawick.
Alexander Mitchell continued to develop the business and, along with a Board of Directors comprising of prominent local businessmen, Mitchell Glass remained at the fore of glass and glazing services.
In 1946 Alexander Mitchell died and, as he had no family to take over the business, it was down to the members of the Board to decide if the legacy of Robert Mitchell should continue.
James Fisher was a member of staff and took the decision to become one of the shareholders. This decision has seen Mitchells continue to grow and be passed down through the Fisher family ever since.
James’ son, Bill, who joined as an apprentice glazier when he was fourteen years old, opened premises in Galashiels in Gala Lane, and then moved to Market Street. The current location was built in 1980 and was used to manufacture windows, doors and conservatories. Bill saw the potential in developing the business and in 1984 he asked his son-in-law, Peter Roden, to join the team as their first dedicated salesman.
On leaving school Peter Roden served his apprenticeship as a carding engineer and attended Scottish College of Textiles for Woollen Manufacture and Borders College for Engineering. In 1973 he received his City and Guilds Certificate, winning the UK 1st Prize and Gold Medal. He had ambitions to run his own business and in order to gain Sales and Bookkeeping experience joined Prudential Assurance as an Agent in 1979. The highest award an agent could win was the Star Dinner Award which Peter achieved in 1981.
In 1984, Peter accepted the position of Sales Manager with Mitchell Glass and subsequently became a Director. Peter purchased the majority of shares in 1993.
He excelled in identifying emerging market trends and often made recommendations to the Mitchells' team. PVCu windows, timber windows and conservatories to name but a few.
The family business has always been important to Peter and he persuaded his wife, Susan, to join the team again. She had started her Mitchells' career as a "Saturday girl" at the Market Street shop while still at school. She also typed invoices for her father, Bill, on the big old black typewriter.
Following Bill’s death in 1993, Peter Roden became Managing Director of the company with his wife, Susan, working as Company Secretary.
Their son, Lewis, who is a time-served joiner, shadowed his parents at work for over 21 years, learning every element of the business, before stepping into the position of Managing Director in February 2019.
In his first year as MD, he received very positive feedback during an Investor in People Assessment for the changes he implemented with good vision for the future, helping earn Mitchell Glass the Silver accreditation.
During the challenging period caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Lewis took the opportunity to invest in technology to further streamline the business and deliver even greater customer experiences, with a series of enterprising new plans set to be revealed soon.
ROBERT MITCHELL Begs to intimate that he has commenced Business as GLASS MERCHANT, GLAZER AND PAINTER, at the premises 23, BUCCLEUGH STREET, and by strict attention to orders and moderate charges, he hopes to receive a share of Public Patronage, Estimates furnished on application.
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R Mitchell (Glass) Limited at Currie Road Galashiels TD1 2BP (VAT No. 272 252 081). Financial Services Registered No. 808089 is a credit broker and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit provided by Hitachi Personal Finance, a trading style of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No. 704348).