Peter Baillie: From Triangle in the 90s to council chamber in the 2000s

Peter Baillie pic SCCNew Tory group leader Peter Baillie worked at the Bitterne Park Triangle pharmacy – now The Old Chemist – from 1992 until 2000, and his family lived above for most of the period.



“My daughter was born there on the day we moved in!” he told

“We also had a break-in on that night and I spent the day sorting out medicines on a ship so my wife, in labour, had to be in the pharmacy.

“She wasn’t best pleased”, he said.

He recounted a memorable time living in Bitterne Park, with three young children, so making “plenty of contacts in Bitterne Park via schools, clubs & friends” and with a gate directly onto Riverside Park.

“I remember being told by a customer that my two-year-old daughter was on the flat roof at the front - - naked! That stopped the traffic,” he said.

“It was great to have a good relationship with all of the other traders at the Triangle – and we used to have some very good trader evenings.”

“All in all we thoroughly enjoyed our time at The Triangle – and now my son James, who was five when we moved there, is ... the Sheriff.”

He said it was sad to leave, but at the time he thought Boots was planning a Triangle pharmacy.

old chemist windows looking out The Old Chemist as it looks today. It is run as a community space and offices by Vineyard Church

Baillie said he’d met current Itchen MP Royston Smith, who had bought Triangle Cycles - now Intense Colours tattoo studio - in 1993, and they’d formed the Triangle Traders’ Association.

But he said they felt they weren’t getting enough support for Triangle regeneration from the Lib Dems or Labour, so they stood against them.

In 1988 Smith stood as an independent council candidate for Bitterne Park, losing out to Lib Dem Ann Milton. Meanwhile Baillie stood as a ‘New Labour Independent’ in St Lukes ward to annoy Labour. He polled 110 votes against Paul Jenks, who was elected with 983 for Labour.,

After then standing twice in Bitterne Park as an independent, Baillie was finally elected on a Conservative ticket in 2002. Royston Smith was meanwhile elected for the party in Harefield ward.

the old chemist from over road inc full building 600px 17 5 24

“I held the seat until 2015 when I resigned because of a serious health issue. Rather surprisingly to me that issue resolved itself and I was able to stand in Harefield in 2016 and still hold that seat.”

The other two councillors currently in Harefield, former Bitterne Park councillor Rob Harwood, and Valerie Laurent, are also Conservatives, whereas today Bitterne Park is represented by three Labour councillors.

Former Bitterne Park pharmacist and councillor is new Tory group lead

Photo of Cllr Peter Baillie: Southampton City Council

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