One of the city’s best-known music stores is set to shut – bringing the curtain down on almost half a century of business.
V&E Chalmers Guitar Centre has become a staple of Albert Street in Dundee and has served three generations of families.
Owner Vince Chalmers admitted it was the “end of the era” as he shared his memories of he and wife Eleanor’s time in the area.
The pair were keen musicians and they performed with local group Astor Combo touring around Scotland before opening their first shop in 1971.
Vince said the business started on King Street in the city centre before moving to Stobswell in 1977.
He taught guitar to school children in Angus from 1974, while Eleanor tended to the shop.
But Vince said: “I retired in 2000 and focused solely on the business with Eleanor.
“Over the years, including in the schools, I must have taught thousands of people to play guitar whether in the shops or at school.
“We have served three generations of families over that time and shipped guitars around the world, from America to Hong Kong.”
The store, which specialises in jazz guitars, even caught the attention of none other than rock superstar Bryan Adams during his last visit to the city back in 2001, when he played the Caird Hall.
The chart-topping star asked for directions to the store – but it proved to be a disaster for Vince who turned out to be on holiday at the time.
He said: “We’ve really had some great memories over the years in the shop.
“The reason we moved from the King Street premises was the rent had increased significantly.
“Bryan came to visit but I was unfortunately on holiday.”
Customer Grant Ritchie, who is originally from Lochee, said it was sad to hear of the shop’s imminent closure.
He said: “The collection of guitars they had, I’d never seen anything like it.
“I’ve been coming here for well over 30 years. I bought my son his first guitar from the store as well.”
Vince’s grandson, Gavin Ross, has been helping him out in the store in recent months.
He said: “There has been a lot of thought gone into this decision.
“A lot of customers have been coming in just to express their shock that the store is closing soon.
“People have been telling us they used to come in just to see grandad’s private collection in the display cabinet.
“We put up the sign just last week to say we were trying to sell the last of the stock before closure.
“It is the end of an era – my grandad was definitely an inspiration for me getting into music. He gave me my first guitar lesson.”
Vince, who was carrying out a guitar lesson when he spoke to the Tele, added: “It will certainly be sad to close the shop.
“I can’t thank the customers over our time here enough.
“We’ve certainly seen changes to the shopping experience on Albert Street but we’ve had some great experiences.”
The shop is holding a closing down sale and will announce an official closing date shortly.