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SIR HUGH FRASER (1936-1987)

Lord and Lady Fraser of Allander

Sir Hugh Fraser

Hugh Fraser, 1st Lord Fraser of Allander was the grandson of Hugh Fraser I, and the father of Sir Hugh Fraser, Baronet. He inherited his father's shop and built it into the large retail chain now known as The House of Fraser.

Born in Partick, Lanarkshire (now in Glasgow), Hugh Fraser was educated at Glasgow Academy and Warriston School near Moffat. In 1919 he joined his father's business, a shop in Buchanan Street in Glasgow where he became Managing Director in 1924 and Chairman on his father's death in 1927. He expanded the business by acquisition buying department stores throughout Scotland as well as the John Barker Group and Harrods in England and Argentina. In 1948 he established Scottish & Universal Investments ('SUITS') to acquire non-retail businesses including the Glasgow Herald.

In 1945 he purchased Mugdock Castle from the Duke of Montrose. He was created a baronet, styled "of Dineiddwg in the County of Stirling", in 1961, and was subsequently created Baron Fraser of Allander, of Dineiddwg in the County of Stirling, in 1964. He died in 1966 at Mugdock Castle.

He married Kathleen Hutcheon Lewis in 1931 and together they went on to have one son and one daughter.


Sir Hugh Fraser 1936-1987

In 1965, following his father's heart attack, Sir Hugh was appointed deputy chairman of House of Fraser Ltd, and in 1966, after his father's death, he was elected chairman of House of Fraser Ltd and of Scottish and Universal Investments Ltd, his father's investment company. He was also appointed director of Harrods Ltd, John Barker & Co Ltd and Binns Ltd. In the same year, Sir Hugh renounced his father's peerage but was unable to disclaim the baronetcy. 


He was a huge benefactor to this surrounding area. To name a few – Fraser Stock Ranches, the Winnock Hotel, the Stampede, Drymen Library (as part of the Winnock remodelling). He also owned Home Farm on Buchanan Estate, near Drymen which included the racing yard for the trainer Paddy Chesmore.  Drymen could also have had its own curling rink where Drymen Court is now situated, but due to planning objections it didn’t go ahead. In 1981 Sir Hugh gifted Mugdock Castle and the surrounding estate to Central Regional Council for use as a country park.


Sir Hugh was a benefactor of Drymen Show sponsoring the main events for many years. These included camel racing and Hercules the Bear with Maggie and Andy Robin. He was also the chair of Dumbarton Football Club. Sir Hugh lived in a few properties in the parish over time. One of these, Kilmaronock House, is just across the fields from the Old Kirk where there are also the ruins of Kilmaronock Castle. He also lived at Cattermill Lodge, Croftamie and built Easter Catter on the brae going into Croftamie for his manager John Paterson. A lot of his employees were housed by him on Buchanan Estate. 


He made it possible for others to try things they would never have been able to do. For example, Chrissie, one of our trustees, had had her provisional licence for a few years when she first came north to Scotland to work for him. He got her a Robin Reliant (three wheeler car) to drive – no passengers allowed on a provisional licence – and she had that until he put her through her driving test in her twenties.  During this time unbeknown to her, he put L plates up on his Rolls Royce and asked her to drive over to the trotting races at Bannockburn. In Stirling, she turned down the wrong road and police were watching with amazement as she had to turn around and come back again – when she reached Bannockburn and got out of the car she realised that he’d put L plates up – no wonder the police were staring! 


We are also delighted to say that through his Fraser Foundation, KOKT will also benefit. His daughter Patricia has a keen interest in the Old Kirk and is updated in what we hope to achieve. We are very grateful for this. 

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