Pharmacist

Born: December 27, 1941;

Died: March 2, 2017

Loading article content

MARION Marchbanks, who has died aged 75, was a pharmacist who owned chemist shops in two of the most deprived areas of West Dunbartonshire, where she became a member of the Lomond Healthcare NHS Trust.

She started out in the village of Renton, where she was the Saturday girl at the age of just 13 in the modest Main Street chemist shop, owned by Miss Molly Hardie.

Mrs Marchbanks was the dux medallist at Knoxland Primary School in Dumbarton and a pupil at Dumbarton Academy.

She graduated in pharmaceutical studies at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

She took up a post with Boots before returning to Renton and eventually buying Miss Hardie’s shop, which was refurbished as part of a village regeneration scheme.

Later Mrs Marchbanks opened another busy and successful chemist shop in the hillside housing estate of Bonhill in Vale of Leven.

She was born in Dumbarton in 1941 to Margaret and Bailie James Bain, a prominent Labour member of Dumbarton Town Council. She and her four siblings lived in their earliest years during the Second World War in a tiny room and kitchen.

As the family grew ever larger, the family moved to a new house in Silverton, Dumbarton.

With her academic studies behind her, and now launched on a successful career, Marion met George (Gerry) Marchbanks, and they were married in Dumbarton in 1968. The Marchbanks had two children, David and Wendy Morrell, and two grandchildren, Lucy and Adam, who survive her

Mrs Marchbanks was a keen badminton player, who represented Glasgow University and later Strathclyde Police badminton team.

Gerry, who pre-deceased his wife, was an outgoing person who had been a classmate of Sir Jackie Stewart at Dumbarton Academy. He became a traffic policeman with Strathclyde Police.

The Marchbanks had a special interest in boxer dogs and travelled regularly during retirement to dog shows, mainly across Scotland and in Ireland, where their own pedigree dogs were shown.

The Rev Mr Miller, who conducted her funeral service, said: “Marion was an entrepreneur and was inventive in what she would stock in her shops, making them both practical and interesting for her customers.

“She supported a school in Kenya and raised a considerable sum of money for it. Initially, it was just an unsubstantial building that looked as if it were made out of bamboo cane, but now the children have a proper, stone-built school. The children also have food and uniforms, largely due to Marion and her family.”

Mrs Marchbanks, who shared her father’s concern for poor people in difficult circumstances, became a member of the Lomond Healthcare NHS Trust, whose principal remit was to administer Vale of Leven Hospital.

Mr Miller, who was chairperson of the trust, added: “Marion was a very caring person and did a lot of good work, not just for people in the community but abroad too.

“She fought hard to retain and improve the hospital and health services in the Vale and will be sadly missed by the whole community here.”

BILL HEANEY