Johnny was credited with opening up the world of model making to a wider audience

A Fraserburgh businessman who brought the world of model making to Aberdeenshire has sadly died

By John A. MacInnes
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 8:55 am
Johnny Hutchy, as he was known died on March 31.
Johnny Hutchy, as he was known died on March 31.

John Hutcheson, or as he was better known, Johnny Hutchy was born on the the Isle of Lewis on the May 27, 1939.

His mother hailed from Stornoway and his dad from Fraserburgh. When he was around seven years of age the family moved to Fraserburgh where they set up home in Shore street initially, sharing a home with his paternal grandparents.

After leaving school, he served his time as a joiner with John Carle – a local business. He worked exceptionally hard at that craft and became a master craftsman. He was the type of man who could turn his hand to do anything that was wood related.

Johnny's skills as a model boat builder meant he was in demand, even by museum collections.

After serving his time he worked for a while in the same job before moving to Gray and Adams to work as a joiner. He enjoyed working there but had always dreamed of having his own business, so in January 1969, he opened the doors of his own shop – DIY Supplies, at 74 Broad Street in the town with his wife Evelyn by his side working with him.

She originally thought he was mad leaving a good job in Gray and Adams to open a shop (especially as they had three children under the age of five to feed!).

The shop sold all manner of DIY related goods as well as a great stock of model kits. On a Saturday the shop would be full of youngsters spending their pocket money on boat, aeroplane and model car kits.

Johnny excelled in his business, which was as much to do with his happy and helpful nature as it was to the huge stock list of items he had available for sale.

He actively encouraged the youngsters who showed an interest in model making and helped out at the Thursday club in Fraserburgh Academy where the boys would spend their evening making models. He also became involved with radio control car and model boat clubs in the area.

Around 1983, he bought a second property in the town to expand his business stocking more picture frame mouldings etc. He was always very busy with this side of the business, framing thousands of pictures for his customers who came from far and wide,

His daughter Moira commented: “Dad loved being his own boss and after 36 years of self employment, he was finally talked into retiring at the age of 68.

“After retirement, he spent hours in his custom-built shed making model fishing boats. His attention to detail and skill were second to none. There are examples of his models boats in Scalloway and Lyness museums to name but a few. He became sought after such were his skills.”

Johnny joined a local model boat club where he made many good friends who would travel to Blackpool every year to attend a model show.

Sadly his health started to fail after a heart attack in 2012. Latterly he was diagnosed with heart failure and COPD. He died in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on March 31 leaving wife Evelyn, son Iain and two daughters, Fiona and Moira.