A NEWSAGENTS is hitting the headlines as it celebrates 50 years at the heart of Greenock’s east end.

McCormick’s on Grosvenor Road opened on this day in 1968 and is still going strong five decades on.

The business was started by local man Jimmy McCormick and continues to be known locally as ‘Jimmy’s Shop’.

His son Michael — a councillor and former Inverclyde provost — is now behind the counter and paid tribute to those who have helped McCormick’s reach the milestone.

He said: “We’ve been so lucky to have so many great customers and some great characters here.

“My dad said he had a good book in him about them and it’s true — there’s been some really funny stories.

“We wouldn’t have survived this amount of time without the support of the local community and the brilliant staff over the years.

“Without them I wouldn’t have become involved in the council either. It was because I was so well-known in the community that I was elected in 2003.

“I’d like to thank the staff and customers.”

Michael, a married dad-of-three, has been a councillor for 15 years and was provost from 2007 to 12.

The newsagents was originally owned by Michael’s uncle, Peter Sharkey, and it was taken over by his father on February 2 1968.

McCormick’s opened in the heyday of the shipyards and the early days of Cartsdyke Court, now known as Cartsdyke Apartments, with as many as five staff on at any one time.

While much has changed over the years one thing remains constant — the Tele.

Michael, who started out in the family business delivering Inverclyde’s favourite paper, reckons around 2.3 million copies have been sold there in the last 50 years.

To mark the shop’s special anniversary, pupils from nearby King’s Oak Primary created eye-catching artwork which will go on display in-store.

Mr McCormick said: “The parent council heard about the anniversary and said they wanted to get involved.

“I was working out how many copies of the Greenock Telegraph we’ve sold over the years and it’s well over two million, which is incredible.

“It was originally my uncle’s shop so it’s been in the family a lot longer but it’s been McCormick’s for 50 years.”
Michael now runs the business with help from family, including relatives Frances and Jim.

He said: “Because Jim works here all the time it’s continued to be called Jimmy’s.

“We’ve always been a community shop, very much part of the east end of Greenock and proud to be so.”