Tain Museum Image Library

Wallace & Fraser, Ironmongers
Tain Museum Image Library
Wallace & Fraser, Ironmongers

This firm was established in 1812. This photo taken in 1922 shows their High Street premises situated where the Royal Bank of Scotland building now stands replacing this building which was burnt down in 1957. ( see picture #21) Wallace & Fraser continued in Castle Brae in a rather reduced form (in the building now occupied by Brown's Art Gallery). The array of goods in the windows give some idea of the "Aladdin's Cave" nature of this locally famous firm which was the source of a vast range of goods for town and country dweller alike.
L to R - Stanley Ross (Manager); Duncan Mackenzie; Sybil Ross (Arboll); ?; Joe Birnie; Tina Mackintosh;?;?
Picture added on 23 February 2005
Can anyone expand on the history of Wallace & Fraser? Who was the Fraser partner? I have a John Fraser, ironmonger, born 1821 who was at Wallace & Fraser.
Added by Wilmer Fawcett on 27 April 2005
Stanley Ross was my father's cousin (my father - John James MacKenzie Campbell, son of Flo MacKenzie, Daughter of John MacKenzie & Jane MacDonald). Stanley's father, Sutherland Murray Ross (Sid), had been a partner in the business. His wife, Christina MacKenzie (Teenie) was my grandmother's sister. I can't see the photo well enough to see if she might be the "Christine" in the photo. She would have been about 55 years old. Sid was also still alive and could be the gentlemen on the left in the back row.
Added by Margot Hogg on 27 July 2005
Donald Ross-provost of Tain in 193?-brother of William Ross-jeweller across the road-was partner of Stanley Ross. Deceased ?1950.
Donald Ross was my grandfather and I remember the shop as a small child-it smelt of paraffin and animal foods!
Added by Susan Morrison -nee Ross on 07 April 2006
I am interested in the name Sutherland Ross. Is Sid the Sutherland Ross of 'Woodbine' who was a friend to anyone in Tain who needed him? We have cause to be grateful to him in my family, but I have never been able to find out who he was.
Added by Elspeth Dennis on 02 August 2006
Sid is the same Sutherland Ross. In the correspondence I have from my grandmother, he was always referred to as Siddie and my father always called him Uncle Sid. His two children, Stanley and Elean, died without issue.
Added by Margot Hogg on 10 August 2006
My great grandmother's sister, Margaret Gallie, married John Fraser of Wallace & Fraser in 1849. They lived at Rarichie. I have a letter written by her father, John Gallie, on October 9th 1862, in which he comments "Your Mother & I was at Rarichie for a week and we enjoyed it. What a fine place it is." Margaret & John Fraser had 2 sons and 5 daughters. James joined his father in the business but died young leaving one son, John, born in 1885. He became a doctor in Edinburgh, ultimately being appointed Surgeon to the King and a baronet in 1943. He died in 1947.
It would be interesting to know about the other descendants of Margaret & John Fraser.
Added by Katharine Broome on 12 August 2006
There is a beautiful stained glass window in Tain Parish church to commemorate Sir John Fraser. It was unveiled by Lady Fraser during the ministry of my late father, the Rev R.W.A.Begg who was there from 1942 - 1952. a time of wonderful childhood memories for me!
Added by Lorna Paterson (nee Begg) on 19 July 2007
Lorna, I am very pleased to learn about this stained glass window. I am very distantly related to this Sir John Fraser, am keen to learn as much as I can about the Nigg/Tain Frasers, and hope to travel there one day. The window will certainly be on my must-see list. I must ask our very dear friend Jean Begg if she might be related to your family. If you know anything further about the Frasers, I would be pleased to hear from you fawcettw@shaw.ca in Canada. Thank you.
Added by Wilmer Fawcett on 24 July 2007
I came across the following Notice in the Edinburgh Gazette dated September 7th 1897.
Tain 1st September 1897.
We, Alexander Wallace, John Fraser & Abner Gallie, sole partners of the firm of Wallace & Fraser, Hardware, Seed & Wine Merchants, Tain wish to intimate that we have, this day, disposed of our business.
signed Alex. Wallace, John Fraser, Abner Gallie, Jas. M. Macleod, Dond Ross, Sutherland M. Ross.

Does anybody know if Sutherland & Donald Ross were related & did they become partners in the firm when it was sold?
Added by Katharine Broome on 08 June 2010
Sybil Ross was last of 13 children, born 1894 she married Alexander "Sandy" Barnie, a chemist at Thurso. They bought the chemist shop at Strathpeffer in 1936. She was my grandfather's favourite sister.
Added by Donald MacDonald-Ross on 30 December 2014
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