Celebration of 50 years membership for Alan Sainsbury

Alan SainsburyThe Aberdeen Tailors’ Incorporation hosted a supper to celebrate Ex Deacon Alan Sainsbury’s 50 years membership of their trade at Trinity Hall on Friday 19th February 2016.

Alan joined the Tailors’ in 1966 and has served as their Deacon twice (1977 – 1979 and 1989 – 1991).

The evening was a great success and was well attended and supported by members and wives in the Minor Hall. Following the Toast to Alan by Ex Deacon Arthur George, Alan replied with a witty reminiscences of his time in the Tailors Incorporation and being a member of Trinity Hall …

Tour of the Aberdeen City Archives

On the evening of the 24th March 2015 a number of the Hammermen and Tailors Incorporation met for a Tour of the Aberdeen City Archives. Welcomed by Mr Hall, of the Archives Department, the members were firstly given a short tour of the Towns House specifically the St Nicholas Room, the newly refurbished, Town and County Hall and the Bon Accord Room.

Matthew, in his talk presented the history of the City and the significance of various parts of the building.

We then were taken to the Charter Room and shown a number of the archives including details of the construction of Union Street, City Seals and original regalia, and records relation to apprenticeships and indentures.

After the visit we had a meal in a nearby restaurant before making our way home. Overall a very interesting and informative evening.

Incorporation of Tailors of Aberdeen v Coutts

In 1823, the trustees of the Incorporation of Tailors of Aberdeen decided to feu the land at Crabeston at a public sale.  This formed Bon Accord Square and a number of detailed feuing conditions were stipulated; the Incorporated Tailors maintained that Adam Coutts, Advocate, Aberdeen and his heirs were obliged to conform to all the details of the Feu Charter, specifically the construction of a pavement, iron railing and a dwarf wall in Bon Accord Square.  With some complications regarding the nature of the tenure and counter claims by the superior that ‘under cover of night’ Coutts had made connection to the main sewer, together with appeals, the case was only resolved in 1840 when Lord Brougham delivered the Lords’ judgement that there was a real burden upon the property in question and is binding of the defender Coutts.  The Aberdeen Tailors Incorporation hold the original paperwork involved with the case and this has now been put on display within the Library at Trinity Hall.

In 2003 the importance of these papers was recognised by Sheriff Douglas Cusine. It was thought appropriate to make a number of copies so that the originals could be preserved whilst the information therein could continue be used by future legal scholars. …

Gray’s School of Art exhibition

Gray's School of ArtOn Monday 28th April 2014, the Tailors Incorporation in partnership with Dr Guilds Managers hosted an exhibition in the Major Hall of artworks produced by students from Gray’s School of Art. The students studying contemporary Art Practices stage 3, approached Trinity Hall to hold the exhibition as part of the continuing relationship with Robert Gordon’s University and the Tailors Incorporation were keen to assist in part sponsoring the event. …

Office Bearers elected for Tailors Incorporation

The Aberdeen Tailors Incorporation held their Annual Election of Office Bearers at Trinity Hall.

The newly elected Officers for the following year are:
Deacon Ian T. Webster
Boxmaster Michael Morrice
Firstmaster Michael Allen
Late Deacon Kevin Brown

Aberdeen Tailors Incorporation donate to Inspire

Aberdeen Tailors Incorporation donation 1 (3)Aberdeen Tailors Incorporation, part of the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen, have donated monies towards Inspire, who work with children, young people and adults with learning disabilities and additional support needs in the local area. The money was raised at their annual dinner dance, The Tailors decided the money, raised during their annual dinner dance, should go to a local worthy cause and Inspire was our unanimous choice.
Zoë Barbour, fundraising and events officer at Inspire, continues: “It is with great pleasure that we received this very generous donation from Aberdeen Tailors Incorporation. We are thankful for their support and were delighted that Inspire was their first choice. This donation will go towards offering the people we support additional opportunities that they may not have had access to otherwise.”
The cheque was presented to Inspire on Friday 5th July by Mike Morrice and Kevin Brown from Aberdeen Tailors Incorporation.

Tailors’ Dunkeld Weekend

On the weekend of 17th May Seven Members of the Taylors’ Incorporation and their wives headed off to Dunkeld for their Annual Weekend Away. Our Boxmaster arranged accommodation at the Royal Dunkeld Hotel for two nights. As we were all arriving at different times, it was arranged that we meet up in the Bar for pre-Dinner drinks.

The rooms, allocated on arrival were found to be comfortable, with the Boxmaster being allocated the largest room through the generosity of a member who had been an early arrival. This helped the Boxmaster, who in the absence of the Deacon, hosted the pre-Dinner drinks on the Saturday.
The food at the Hotel was excellent with a large choice of dishes available, served by friendly, efficient staff who ensured that we wold enjoy our stay.

A game of Bowls was arranged on the Saturday at Pitlochry at which five of the party took part. The remainder spent their time going for walks, sight-seeing and the inevitable retail therapy!

The weather was really kind to us as we missed the monsoon style rain in Aberdeen. An enjoyable weekend with excellent company, good food and the occasional drink.


TailorsArms-150x150The evolution of the trades has been exemplified by the tailors in the city of Aberdeen. Eminent names from the turn of the 15th century included Willelmus Blacberd and Willelmus Scissor, among the leaders in their chosen field.

The tailors first formed a trade association as part of their bid to prevent women from encroaching on their profession. In time the Aberdeen members changed their stance, making concessions in the 18th century to allow women to make some garments for the female market. It was the only association in Scotland to reach that compromise.

Modern manufacturing and retail patterns have transformed the tailor from necessity to luxury, but the trade in Aberdeen has adapted and through admission from a variety of sectors is integral to the vibrancy and diversity of the Seven Incorporated Trades of Aberdeen.

Current Role of Members and Date Joined:



Gordon Maitland1963 Ian T. Webster1988 Garry Thorpe 2009
Alan Sainsbury1966 Alexander Anderson1992 Philip Sainsbury 2010
Arthur F. George1983 David N. Parkinson1994 Richard Sainsbury 2010
Graeme Bruce1984 Edwin Shaw1994   
David A. Fowlie1984 Michael Allen1998   
Michael R. Morrice1988 Derek Simpson1998   
Giancarlo T. Pia1988 Kevin Brown2005   


Tailors Incorporation carries out the “Doupin’ Stane” ceremony

Derek Simpson, Michael Morrice, Kevin Brown, Michael Allen, Ed Shaw

The occasion was the annual inspection by the Court of land and property they own in theDerek Simpson, Michael Morrice, Stuart Stephen, Michael Allen, Ed Shaw city, and the initiation of new members by “doupin’.  Derek Simpson, Michael Morrice, Michael Allen and Ed Shaw are pictured with Kevin Brown (left) and Stuart Stephen (right) during the initiation.

An old Scottish tradition that is still continued through some of the Incorporated Trades in Aberdeen.  Doupin is to drop or dump someone down smartly on the buttocks, specifically in the initiation of burgesses by bumping them on the boundary stones.  New members of the Trade were douped during the Riding of the Marches (checking the Trades boundaries (normally marked by Stones) and is carried out for on those attending for the first time.   They were hauled to the stone and members bumped the new member on the stone.  This helped reinforce the remembering where the stones per placed.  The Tailors Incorporation carries out this act at the march stane on the hill behind the Trinity Cemetery.



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