Remembering the ‘First Lady’ of Plumbing: Agnes Fraser

November 24, 2022

SNIPEF would like to celebrate the life of Agnes Fraser. A beloved member of our organisation, she achieved many accomplishments in her time as Secretary of the Southern Counties Branch of the SNIPEF Glasgow and West of Scotland plumbing association – not least among them being the SNIPEF Merit Award in 2011.

In her role as secretary, she placed great importance upon creating a sense of community in her team and regularly organised social events, including trips to the panto and an annual dance for the local plumbing community in her home county of Dumfries and Galloway. She also found time to support her husband Max in running a successful plumbing and heating business. In a male dominated industry, Agnes’s achievements helped pave the way for women to thrive and succeed in the trade.

SNIPEF remembers Agnes Fraser for her exceptional service and great influence in her career spanning almost forty years. Her tireless commitment was greatly valued by both SNIPEF and the wider plumbing industry, and we send our deepest condolences to her friends and family, and to all who knew her.

An accomplished writer, we include segments of her poem, ‘The Plumber’s Dance’, to demonstrate Agnes’s welcoming nature, popularity, and the success of her annual dance.

The Plumber’s Dance

It’s cam roon again tae that time o’ year,

The time for the plumber’s dance is here,

It’s looked forrit tae, wi much acclaim,

For ever year, it grows in fame!

The Folk that attend, are a the elite,

The men are a’ handsome, & the ladies are sweet,

There are merchants, & plumbers, manufacturers too,

We make everyone welcome, whatever they do.

When we arrive at the hotel, we meet through in the bar,

To exchange greetings and have a bit jar,

Everyone is so pleasant, talk of weather and things,

Then they join the stampede, when the dinner bell rings

Thro’ in the dining room, we all take our place,

And sit & wait quietly, while Wattie says grace,

He coughs and he splutters, as he shoves back his seat

Then he geys a bit grunt, as he gets tae his feet.

He says, I’d like tae welcome ye a’ here tonight,

By, don’t oor ladies make a wonderful sight!

Now enjoy yer meal, relax and let yer hair doon,

Mind it’s jist yince a year, that oor dance comes roon.

Wattie then geys a grin, and he flicks back his hair,

Wi’ a sigh o’ relief sits back doon on his chair,

Nae grace has been mentioned and that’s his speech by,

But the puir fella’s nervous, and his throat’s awfie dry!

They announce the meal’s ready, so we all file thro’

And load up oor plates wi’ the guid things on view

The buffet’s always delicious, as you will agree

Ye couldn’t get better, wherever ye be.

Yes. For a buffet, The Station canna be beat,

That’s why we come here for oor annual treat,

The prices are reasonable and so is the drink,

Being canny Scots folk, that’s how we think.

By then its time for the dancing tae start,

So I give Jim ‘P’ a nod to do his part,

He caters so well for the folks from our era,

He plays a’ the sangs that were sung by Dame Vera!

Dae ye mind yon Ross Little that was here last year,

He caused much hilarity wi’ everyin here,

The shoes on his feet were the problem that night,

He’d a size 8 on the left and a 10 on the right.

The salesman frae Hepsworths was the guy tae blame,

Fur he gave Ross twae shoes, that weren’t the same,

Brave Ross struggled on, even danced an a’

But he’d tae watch his big fit didnae clash wi’ the wa’.

The raffle is always a high point o’ oor dance

We get dozens o’ prizes, everyin has a chance

Hopefully Max gets a’ the tickets awa’

So we get Shirley up, tae start the big draw.

Some folks are just born lucky, at least I aye think that,

Nae maiter whit ye gaun tae, their names come oot o’ the hat,

Ye hear the same names shouted oot, year efter year,

It’s the thought o’ a’ these prizes that’s brought a’ you folk here.

There’s a fellow here called Malcolm, comes frae aboot C.D.,

When it comes tae winning prizes, he’s as jammy as can be,

He has the luck o’ a certain doctor, he wins everything in sight,

Why that Davie Malcolm’s even won a Concorde flight.

There’s a crowd frae ower the border, come each year tae strutt their stuff,

Of Scottish hospitality, they canna get enough,

They enjoy the food, our company and the spirits tae,

And they always win a raffle prize and that just makes their day.

Now, ye see that Ian Lewis, he’s sitting ower there,

Aye that’s him, that wee chap, wi’ the fast receding hair,

A don’t know how he does it, but every year’s the same,

He brings a jumbo shopping bag, tae cairt his prizes hame.

The time just seems tae fly by, soon the clock strikes one,

Amazing how time passes, when you’re having fun,

But when it reaches one o’clock, doesn’t mean the night is thro’

We simply gaun intae the bar for another hauf or two.

Its peaceful sitting in there, just chatting with your friends

Enjoying a quiet drink wi’ them before our evening ends,

Some folk may feel like chanting, sing a few songs or more,

But I aye feel cream crackered by the time it comes tae four.

One lad called Mike was there last year, he was blessed wi’ staying power,

He chatted and he socialised till an ungodly hour,

At 6.40am he realised, that it was getting late,

So he went out & ordered his morning call, for sometime aboot eight.

This dining room at breakfast time, is a very different place,

Some folk are feeling really fine, and they can feed their face,

But some puir souls just canna bear tae see them eat wi’ glee,

They sit and haud their throbbing heads, an try tae sip some tea.

It takes a bit o’ getting ower this do, that I’ll no deny

But wi’ the weekend following, ye can tak a guid lang lie,

And when next I meet ye in the street, I ken whit I aye hear,

The plumber’s dance was great again, whit date is it next year.

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