The late Arbroath photographer Jim Ratcliffe’s former town studio has been given a new lease of life.
Mr Ratcliffe was a much-loved freelance photographer in the town who worked for The Courier until his death aged 78 in 2016.
His former studio in Lordburn was lying empty for a few months but two brand new services are now sharing the premises and helping keep Mr Ratcliffe’s legacy alive.
Mr Ratcliffe’s daughter Alison Smith opened Messy Play Studio and has now been joined in the building by Jane Torvaney and Kath Spink’s Arbroath Physiotherapy and Wellbeing following a chance encounter.
Alison said: “Starting up a new business is always exciting and to be given the opportunity to do this in a property that holds so many memories of my dad is very special.
“I have precious memories of the studio as I watched my dad build up his business from a young child.
“It has been good for us as a family to be back in the property that was once such a big part of our lives for so many years.
“Creating a messy play environment for young children to enjoy has been in my thoughts for some time and my dad’s studio is the perfect location.
“I wanted to keep the original name alive therefore named the business Messy Play Studio.”
Alison and Kath had lost touch after school but reconnected many years later on social media.
Kath had taken her grandson Noah to one of Alison’s first messy play sessions for children where she mentioned that she would still like to rent out the front part of the studio.
Kath and colleague Jane worked in Dundee but recognised that there was a gap for a private physiotherapy service in Arbroath and surrounding areas.
“I was glad when Alison mentioned the studio when we were looking for premises as the place is familiar and comfortable for me as it will be for many other local people,” said Kath.
“Jim Ratcliffe was well-known throughout Arbroath, and to me as a child, as a kind and gentle man who always put people at ease.
“I like the idea of helping keep his legacy alive by working alongside his daughter in the old photographic studio.”
Jane has worked in Aberdeen, Cambridge and Dundee and studied extensively in the USA while Kath has worked with the NHS in London and Arbroath as well as lecturing in physiotherapy in Aberdeen.
They met while working in Dundee and the physiotherapy and wellbeing service will be offering individualised assessment and treatment for things like muscle or joint injuries, back and neck pain, post-operative rehab and balance issues.
Alison’s Messy Play Studio offers opportunities for young children aged from nine months to three to explore sensory experiences.
An open day on Wednesday August 8 is being arranged for people to come and enjoy tasters and demonstrations in messy play and physiotherapy and wellbeing.