A haulage firm that has operated in Perth for more than 70 years has ceased trading with the loss of 16 jobs.
Morris Young, based on Crieff Road, was established in 1948 and in its heyday operated a fleet of 30 lorries and supplied construction machinery throughout the Central Belt.
The firm’s directors, brothers David and Colin Young, are both in their 70s – a high risk age group for Covid-19, which meant they felt unable to return to the frontline.
The company had furloughed its workforce and ceased operations during the lockdown.
David Young, 74, said: “Our father and mother set-up the business in the post-war years and we celebrated our 70th anniversary not so long ago.
“We aren’t getting any younger but, even so, this is not a decision we have taken lightly.
“Our hand has been forced by the virus and with our staff furloughed it would be like starting all over again.
“Some of our drivers are beyond retirement age but obviously we are desperately sorry to see anyone losing their jobs.”
It marks the end of an era for major general haulage business in the Fair City, with the corporate livery instantly recognisable on local roads.
Colin Young, 71, fears the fall-out from the pandemic will be even more devastating than the banking crisis.
“We simply have no idea what we would have been returning to.
“When the banks crashed, I remember it was like a light being turned off.
“We battled back from that and also a major fire in 1998 which destroyed the workshops and offices.
“But I fear this crisis is so wide-ranging that the ‘new normal’ will prove challenging for many businesses.
“The business has been our lives since we left school so it has been a very difficult decision for us both.”
Morris Young, with his wife Janet, set-up the original business in Perth with a single tractor, after missing out on securing his father’s tenancy at Hilton of Gask.
He acquired the 20-acre Hillyland Farm from the Earl of Mansfield in 1952 and bought the first of his lorries 12 months later.
His sons joined the business in the early sixties and quickly expanded the firm’s haulage and plant hire interests.
MSP Liz Smith, who also represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “I was very saddened to hear that Morris Young will no longer be operating.
“It must have been a very difficult decision to take by the two brothers, David and Colin Young, but they acknowledged the uncertainties facing businesses like theirs due to Covid-19.”