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Dumbuck Times is a page-turner
Media veteran Bill Heaney and hotel owner and fundraiser Petra McMillan have joined forces to launch a new newspaper in Dumbarton.
The Dumbuck Times is a combination of Petra’s vi s i on of the future of her business and Bill’s extensive knowledge of the history of West Dunbartonshire.
The new paper is destined never to be on sale in newsagents’ shops, and instead has been framed and hung page by page on the walls of the Dumbuck House Hotel, owned by Petra and her husband Tommy.
Bill, who has been in journalism for more than 50 years, has edited both local papers in Dumbarton, and is still a columnist for the Lennox Herald.
Petra was a journalist for 13 years. She joined DC Thomson as a school l eaver at 17, and worked f or t he Dundee Courier, Evening Telegraph and the Sunday Post.
She joined PR firm Beattie Media, working her way up to director and led the City of Discovery campaign in Dundee.
In recent years, Petra’s newspaper and PR background has served her well as a patron for Marie Curie, the charity that provides free professional nursing care at home to people with t erminal conditions. Her f r i ends and family have raised more than £ 100,000 over the past four years. In the past 12 months she has been working to create a hub for the charity at the Dumbuck House.
She said: “Given my penchant for reinvention and a nose for a good story, I’ve been keen to use my skills to revive the Dumbuck, to connect with the community and to rebuild what I know will be a fantastic business.”
Her family firm, Alchemy Inns, has already invested more than £200,000 in the hotel. Plans in the pipeline for 2015 include the creation of a new public bar and the addition of three
Picture: Steph McShane disabled access bedrooms. Petra said: “We were keen to bring back the history to the Dumbuck and to reconnect with the local area.
“We felt that was missing when we t ook over and I was str uck by the wealth of historical gems on our doorstep. That is why we brought in Bill to assist and advise us.
“His local knowledge was invaluable which is why I knew he was the best person for the job of creating t hese pages, which I am certain our local patrons and visitors passing through the area will find both enjoyable and invaluable.”
Joint project Dumbuck House owner Petra McMillan and Bill Heaney wrote and designed The Dumbuck Times