This couple reunited by social media are launching a new venue in Doncaster

Teenage sweethearts who lost contact for 36 years and were reunited through chance via the internet, are now opening their first joint bistro business venture in Old Cantley.

By Sally Burton
Monday, 15 July, 2019, 11:55
Dougie and Margaret Dickson

Margaret and Dougie Dickson will launch Canters Bistro on July 20, to answer what they believe to be a real need for such a venue in Old Cantley.

Employing 13 local people, they will serve up steaks, seafood, pasta and all kinds of dishes created by “talented” chef Dean Hughes, along with drinks from coffees, to wines, gins, beers and soft drinks.

And behind it all is the couple’s own love story…

They met at 17 at their local disco in Aberfeldy, near Perth, in Scotland, and grew close to each other over a couple of years.

But their two-and-a-half year romance faltered when life took them in different directions, and they lost touch – until five years ago.

Both divorced, they made contact through Facebook after Dougie signed up, to view family photographs.

They met up in Bawtry, where Margaret was living at the time.

“I was living near Birmingham then,” said Dougie, a former chef at the famous Gleneagles Hotel and The Edinburgh Caledonian, who latterly worked on the oil rigs.

“We got on really well when we met up again, and eventually we got a house together in Bessacarr.

“I retired 18 months ago, and we married last year in Turkey.

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“When we saw the lease for this place was becoming available we thought, why not?

“The reception from local people has been terrific, even from before opening, so we hope it will prove good for everyone.”

Canters Bistro and Wine Bar will open with its own distinctive decor, following a complete refurbishment of the premises, and stylish furniture.

“We have people booking table reservations before we have even opened the doors,” said Dougie, 59, who also has long and varied experience in pub and hotel management.

“People living around here have been so welcoming, stopping and chatting to us as we prepared the building, and telling us they are looking forward to having somewhere local to go to in the evenings.

“It’s a lovely spot, and hopefully will be nice for people round about the village to walk to, or for others to travel to for a nice meal or to meet friends.

“We feel the place is an ideal size, plenty of room but not too big, so that you have the right kind of atmosphere.”

Its new employees are all local, some living within the village itself, and others from within a close radius, he added.

The bistro on Nutwell Lane will be open, offering food and drink, from Wednesday to Sunday each week, from 10am to 5pm, Wednesday and Thursdays, and 10am to 10pm for the remaining days.

The venue has a Facebook page up and running, under its name, Canters Bistro and Wine Bar.