There had been all kinds of writing on the wall. A catastrophic fall in the value of the pound – lovely for tourists coming, hopeless for us travelling abroad – along with a failed restructuring and a pile of debt.

But, as with so many retailers, the fact that Thomas Cook still had so many physical outlets when so much travel booking had migrated online would probably have been a killer blow anyway, sooner rather than later.

“Don’t just book it, Thomas Cook it” was a great slogan, just not perhaps for the contemporary market place.

For us here, it’s the loss of yet another franchise outlet – another brick out of the wall people have been constructing to make Helensburgh a good place to live and from whence to commute.

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And of course a very personal and dramatic loss for those who worked in the local branch, and those who had booked advance trips.

The last few days have seen all manner of dismal stories, from cancelled weddings to holidays planned to ease the pain of illness or bereavement.

There are no winners in this story, save the ever-cynical hedge fund managers whose stock-in-trade is to bet on other folk’s distress. Our loss is always their gain. Nice boys.

However the Cook debacle has implications for the whole travel trade. It has been subject to several earthquakes difficult to anticipate, or at least to confront, in an industry where investment in essential hardware, like the fleet, has to be made a very long time ahead.

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Just ask the carriers who ordered dozens of the shiny new Boeing 737 Max jet, only to see them all grounded and construction halted for design amendments following two tragic crashes.

Then there was the explosion of DIY accommodation booking when airBnB became a major player.

That led to thousands of former holiday company customers making their own arrangements, unsurprisingly adding in the cheapest flights-only deal they could find. Usually online.

So while it’s easy to berate the operators who got it all wrong and left their customers and staff stranded, it’s useful to remind ourselves that 20/20 hindsight is a rare gift.