Web and gravure expert Alan Fraser passes away

Jo Francis
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Alan Fraser, who held senior roles at some of the biggest names in the web and gravure printing industry of the day including Watmoughs, Quebecor World and Polestar, has died aged 70.

Fraser: highly-respected for his print and production expertise
Fraser: highly-respected for his print and production expertise

Fraser’s career included production and management roles at Watmoughs' Chantry Web and Varnicoat sites, Quebecor World and Polestar. 

At one point he was technical director for Quebecor World’s entire European business.

Fraser also ran Polestar Purnell up to the period when the factory was shut down at the end of 2005, after Polestar’s new Sheffield gravure supersite had come on-stream. 

David Timmins, former FoC at Chantry Web, recalled that a crucial succession decision was made in 1996 between Fraser and Declan Salter as to who would take over from outgoing Watmoughs CEO Patrick Walker. 

Salter took the top job and the rest is history. 

“We all knew Alan from Watmoughs. He put the KBA 218 in with the fancy mini-gap. When Alan arrived at the factory in the morning he would park his car and then walk around every machine on the factory floor, and would say good morning to everyone. Then he went to his office. 

“He was tough but fair and he held some good positions.”

Former Manroland GB managing director Norman Revill also paid tribute. 

He said: “When I was selling printing machinery Alan was working at Quebecor alongside John Dickin. Alan was a real technical guru. He knew everything about printing presses and also about print and production overall.

“He was very well admired by the Manroland team in Germany because of his knowledge. He was always really well-informed and I used to enjoy his company. This is sad news – another big name from the industry gone.”

Timmins also spoke about Fraser’s production expertise. 

“I remember him asking me to go and get a selection of backup papers that might be needed for a particular client. 

“He could name every one of them by manufacturer and mill, just by feeling them.”

Fraser passed away on 26 August at St Gemma’s Hospice. 

His funeral will take place on 28 September at 2.15pm, at Christ Church, Lofthouse Parish Church, Lofthouse, Wakefield WF3 3LS.

Family flowers only. Donations in his memory can be made to the Dogs Trust.

 

 

 

 

 

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