Lanark doctor Bill Criggie retires after after 37 years

Retiring GP Bill Criggie.
Retiring GP Bill Criggie.

After over three and a half decades of service to the people of Lanark, Bill Criggie has officially retired as a GP.

Born 63 years ago in Kirkcaldy, explaining why he’s one of the royal burgh’s very few Raith Rovers fans, his family came to Lanark when he was five years old.

His late father was a solicitor, and his mother inititially worked as his practice secretary, later moving to an architectural firm, retiring only a few years ago in her eighties.

He reveals that he might well have followed in his father’s professional footsteps as he was considering studying for either a legal or medical degree.

“My father only insisted that I go to Edinburgh University whatever I chose to do,” he recalled.

Six years later, he emerged with his medical degree and started with the old Lanark practice just as it moved into its new surgery in the South Vennel in 1980.

He describes it as a very different era when GPs were still carrying out regular night work, home visits almost on demand and police surgeon duties, plus providing medical cover for Lanark’s then several hospitals including St Mary’s, Bellfield and the Lockhart,

He states that, almost four decades on with a greatly increased demand from patients and a lot of extra red tape, such a routine would be impossible to keep up today.

He became a partner with the Lanark Doctors practice when it took over the GP cover for the area with its new Woodstock surgery, at around the same time serving a spell with the Lanarkshire health board as a medical member.

Outside his profession, he was made lord cornet of Lanark in 1992 and was an active member of Lanark Rotary Club, and he is still guitarist with its house band, the Mazdas.

He now plans to spend more time playing his guitar and playing golf on the Lanark course, he says.