Many warm tributes have been paid by those who knew or worked with Archibald Mackenzie Mitchell, who passed away on 24 December, 2021.
Archie left behind fond and happy memories, being described by colleagues as ‘one of the good guys’. He was well liked and respected by his colleagues during a trading standards career spanning five decades. He is remembered as a lovely, fine, honourable and decent man who had time for many. Archie was a great boss who encouraged and stimulated colleagues, giving support to new entrants to the service.
A keen metrologist, Archie regularly influenced John O’Keefe and contributed a chapter on Weights and Measures to The Encyclopaedia of the Laws of Scotland. He wrote and lectured on this, the Licensed Trade and Fair Trading both for the Scottish Branch of the Institute and for the University of Dundee. As a member of the Society of Directors of Trading Standards in Scotland, Archie served as Secretary and Chairman. He was an Advisor to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and also assisted the Lacots Fair Trading Panel.
Archie and Eddie Sheret, a ‘fellow Fellow’ were lifelong friends. They attended Bell Baxter High School together, played in the same rugby team and trained together with Fife Council, qualifying as Inspectors of Weights and Measures in 1958, when Archie married another classmate, Kathleen.
Archie worked across Scotland in Glasgow, Ayr, Grampian and Tayside regions, being promoted on each move and retiring as Director at Tayside. He supported the Institute at Scottish Branch and National level. He was awarded Fellowship of the Institute in 1994. He came to all of the Scottish Branch lunches, diligently acting as ‘treasurer’ by dealing with the bill.
As well as professional support for colleagues, alongside Eddie, he ran the Scottish Branch sweepstake based on the results of the Grand National. Establishment of ‘Scotch Corner’ at Institute Annual Conferences was Archie at his best, promoting a great and lasting friendship among colleagues throughout the country.
Outside of trading standards, Archie was a Church of Scotland Elder. He was also a keen golfer and cricketer, who became a leading light in Ayr Cricket Club where he metricated the bar and always claimed that it was the first in the UK, which it was.
His funeral Service at Blairgowrie Parish Church was attended by his family, friends and colleagues, with many more watching online. We extend our condolences to Kathleen, Arlene, David, John and all the family. Archie is, and will continue to be, missed.
Compiled by Brian Stone with the help of Archie’s Scottish colleagues.