After more than 50 years fixing and maintaining the motors of island residents, Malcolm ‘Kiwi’ MacLeod started his retirement in September with the closure of MacLeod Garage on Bayhead, Stornoway.
But he’s not hanging up the oil-stained overalls just yet as retirement will leave him plenty of time to work on restoring his own fleet of classic cars!
“It’s been absolutely wonderful, I’ve enjoyed it so much, and it’s a hard thing giving up what you enjoy,” said Malcolm, who admits he attempted to retire last year but ‘it never happened’.
“It’s difficult to retire when you love your work!” he added.
Malcolm entered the motor trade aged 15, and first established his own garage – Kiwis Garage – at Bells Road, Stornoway.
The Kiwis Garage then moved to Inaclete Road for a spell, before finding its current home in New Street, now owned and operated by Malcolm’s eldest son David.
Malcolm opened the Motorists Centre on Bayhead, along with Lewis Car Rentals, and also bought the garage along the road, formerly Macrae & Dick, to open MacLeod Garage.
Turning 67 next year, the time has come now though for the well-known mechanic to start his ‘second life’ and enjoy the delights of retirement.
“I want to spend some more time with the grandkids,” he said. “We’ve got seven grandkids to keep up with now. And I think we’ll be going on some holidays, perhaps spend winter in warmer climates.
“And of course I’ve also got a number of classic cars I want to restore for myself. There’s about a year’s work sitting waiting there already on those, so I’ll not be giving up that!”
And after half a century in the local trade, Malcolm added his thanks to customers and clients over the years.
“One of the best things of this work has been the people I’ve met,” he said. “So many wonderful people over the years.
“A business is nothing without its customers, so I just want to stay thank you for the kindness and support all our customers have given us over the years.”