On this site, 107 South Street, property and business strands of Scottish printing history meet – here, the printing works of the 17c printer, Edward Raban; here, by 1744, the house of Baillie Bell, co-worker with Alexander Wilson, father of Scottish type founding.
John Innes’ success in starting up the ‘St Andrews Citizen’ encouraged him, in 1879, to buy his employers’ (the Tullis Family) printing and publishing business. Its founder Robert Tullis (indentured in 1786 to a St Andrews bookseller and bookbinder) had learnt printing at the University workshop. In 1795 he set up, in Cupar, a printing and, later, a publishing business.
When, in 1890, Provost Murray’s post office (which also sold Newspapers) was transferred to the adjacent Christian Institute, Innes’ firm (now J & G Innes Ltd) retained the newspaper distribution in the corner shop which, in 1927, they bought.
The driving force behind the subsequently reconstruction was W. G. Innes. By 1932, with the help of his architect, Frank Pride (Walker & Pride, founded 1850) the prestigious corner site was transformed into an outstanding example of Arts & Crafts architecture. Its history is recorded in the fabric – St Andrew in the gable niche, the shields of St Andrews, the University, Fife and Madras College (founded by Bell’s second son) and symbols of bookbinding and printing. The feature of the interior is the high-quality hardwood detailing.
Over the years adjacent properties on the north and the east have been sensitively absorbed for wider retail purposes but many who use the thumb-sneck on the entrance door still buy newspapers.
The business is still owned and run by the Innes family – four generations on.