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446 and 448 Union Street
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446 and 448 Union Street

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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446 and 448 Union Street
Historic Photographs
446 and 448 Union Street
This photograph of Union Street was taken in 1936 and shows the premises of John Raffan, shoe fitting specialists, at 446 and Dugan & Mitchell, clothiers, at 448 Union Street.

James Dugan and Duncan Mitchell entered into partnership around 1919. Mitchell had previously been in the former's employment as a cutter.

Dugan had worked as a tailor on his own account since about 1907 in premises in Bon Accord Street, Rose Street and 443 Union Street. Prior to this he was a commercial traveller representing two local tailoring firms; Messers Milne and Low and Messers Kenneth McLean and Sons.

He became a well respected figure in the tailoring and clothing trade in Aberdeen and the North East. He was the son of a china merchant in George Street called Hugh Dugan. James was married and had a daughter. He died suddenly at his residence at Glen-Shiel, Bieldside on 10th May 1927.

Duncan Mitchell was a native of Largs, Ayrshire and served his apprenticeship in Glasgow. He was a keen golfer and was a member of the Deeside Golf Club. He died aged 73 after a short illness in January 1955.

John Raffan died on Sunday 10th June 1906 after suffering an apoplectic seizure in his Union Steet shop the preceding Friday. He was 52 years old at the time of his death. He was born in the parish of Ordiquhill and his father was a shoemaker named James Raffan.

He served his apprenticeship in Portsoy with a draper called James Guthrie before coming to Aberdeen. He worked with Messers J. & A. Gibb and Mr James Saint, warehousemen and silk mercers, prior to starting his own business as a boot and shoe merchant in Market Street and then Union Street.

Beyond his business, Raffan was deeply involved in religious and philanthropic work. He was a force in the establishment of Union Grove Baptist Church and was connected to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, as a life member, the Aberdeen Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, the Seabank Home, and Stronach's Close Mission. He was married and had a daughter and two sons.

Above the shop fronts is a sign for Imperial Typewriters. The buildings in this photograph were across the road, just west, from the Capitol Cinema. They are still visible today. In more recent times they have been occupied by general food shops such as the Co-operative and Costcutters.
Union Street
Aberdeen Local Studies
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