The Old Bank Bookshop is co-owned and run by Ian and Joyce Cochrane. Some 11 years ago Ian noticed an advert in an estate agent’s window in nearby Newton Stewart while visiting Joyce’s Mum. A throwaway comment to Joyce on their journey back to Edinburgh that Easter Sunday would change their lives forever. By early summer they had become owners of a bookshop (an empty bookshop) in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town. With no proper home, they camped in the back of the shop for several months. Helena – the first bookshop baby in Wigtown was born 4 months after they opened.
Ian, a teacher of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) for over 22 years had lived and worked in London, New York, Sweden, Italy, Denmark and latterly Edinburgh. Joyce had studied Modern Languages at Glasgow University, had lived and taught in France and had at that point nearly 20 years experience in education as a resources officer/chartered librarian. They both secretly coveted the idea of having a bookshop – 2004 was the start of their bookshop-journey.
While books are their passion and livelihood, they are also singers and Ian writes his own songs, one of which featured on the BBC’s Countryfile programme in 2012. Ian and Joyce have sang in the past at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, folk festivals and sessions , particularly in and around Edinburgh, where they met. Music is very much part of the bookshop – one room is full of sheet music – and the guitar is never far away. They are the booksellers who like to sing.
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