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Dum­buck Times is a page-turner

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Liz Healey

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

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