Company History & Background

John Smart founded the firm in 1914 with his son John Mavor. In rented premises in the High Street, the business thrived with four workmen, and father and son.

Timbers and furniture prepared in the workshop were dismantled, taken down the stairs, carted on barrows to the customer site before being rebuilt. In those days, they were also undertakers, making coffins from pine covered in black cloth.

In 1947, John Smart passed away, and two years later, the business moved premises to Hunter Street. At the time, work was mostly private and family orientated, and Smart's did most of the work in shops on the High Street. All the local firms helped each other and, even today, we still have close partnerships with other well established firms in the town.

Jock Smart's son Jack took over the business in 1970, expanding it from a four-man jobbing carpentry and joinery firm to a general building contractor, his now 15 strong workforce performing the woodwork, and sub-contracting other trades. Thus the firm was able to take on much bigger contracts.

In 1976, Jack's other career as a university lecturer required a move to Devon. The Hunter Street site was sold, the current premises in Mitchell Street acquired and the business sold to Dennis Melville who ran it and further expanded it until his untimely death.

The firm moved to our current location in Mitchell Street in 1967, a location once used by the old Pinnis shipping company to store goods from the harbour before distribution throughout the Kingdom. We still have the the original blacksmith's furnace and cobbled yard.

With a new owner, Dennis Melville, in 1976 the company became Limited. Dennis continued what his predecessors had started, expanding into general contracting and subcontracting. Dennis's daughter Lynn Watt joined the company in 1984, and became a director in 1988 when her father died. She still runs the company today along with Steven Lumsden, and a dedicated team of skilled workmen and administration staff.

Today, we still carry out a lot of private work, and a number of our customers have been dealing with us for over 30 years. Although we now leave the undertaking to the professionals, we recently made a coffin for a longstanding customer who had just lost his favourite cat!!