A well-known face at auction marts in the North and North-east of Scotland, Grant Fraser, passed away recently.

He died at Raigmore Hospital in mid-April aged 58 years.

Born in Inverness and brought up at Rheindown, the family farm, near Beauly Grant's long association with marts and livestock began on leaving school when he joined Hamiltons Auction Marts, in Inverness.

Thereafter, he worked with a variety of the companies, including MacDonald Fraser, of Inverness and Lairg; Hamiltons Mart, in Dingwall; Huntly Auction Mart; Aberdeen and Northern Marts, Thainstone; and then United Auctions, in Caithness, plus many other seasonal locations.

Always an able stockman with a great memory, he could turn his hand to any job at the mart and would always try to help. Along with many others he found himself in Dumfries during the foot-and-mouth epidemic, where his 'can do' attitude won him many friends during challenging times.

A change in direction saw him return to the Beauly area nine years ago, though he kept in touch with his mart roots by days droving and maintenance work at Huntly, Lairg and Stirling.

Sadly, in 2013, Grant was very badly affected with Lymes Disease, with this tick-borne disease robbing him of much of his mobility and ability to work. It was hard for this outdoors active man to adapt to a life of walking aids and inactivity.

Over the years, his sharp wit and vast memory of folk, farms and sales led to many great craics and yarns and did much to sustain him in these latter years. Occasional outings to Lairg, Dingwall and Thainstone, with friends, were a lifeline to him.

Grant is survived by is four sisters, two sons and a daughter. He will be sorely missed as a good friend to many as evidenced by the large turnout at his funeral in Beauly, in early May.

* A collection was taken for research into Lymes disease and donations will still be accepted by DJ MacLennan and Son, of Muir of Ord, who can be contacted on 01463 870891.