Monday to Friday: 8AM - 5PM
Tanera Camans are a quintessential Highland product, crafted in the heart of the Highlands with care and attention from the best possible materials, to provide the modern day shinty player, young and old, attacker or defender, with the finest implement with which to practice his or her craft on the field of play.
Now the stick of choice for players in the MOWI Premiership and beyond, and whilst no shinty stick can be guaranteed in the rigour and heat of the Clash of the Ash (or American Hickory as is the case now), Alan has applied rigorous testing to find the best manufacturing techniques to ensure a quality product.
In the Workshop
At the age of 12 I began fixing sticks for my local team, Lovat Shinty Club. I got paid £2.50 per stick (a fortune back then) and from time to time would try and make my own caman. I left school and home at a young age to pursue a career in joinery. On completion of my apprenticeship I became self-employed at 19 starting up my own joinery business. The caman bug stayed with me all those years, but it wasn’t until 2011 I made my first serious shinty stick. This resulted in fulfilling an order for the club where it all started for me, Lovat Shinty Club.
Orders started to grow and whilst caman making was still only a hobby, in 2013 I created the hybrid caman for the experimental “iomain” Shinty-Hurling hybrid, providing the Camanachd Association and Gaelic Athletics Association with 30 sticks. The following year, I took over the manufacturing of Tanera Camans. Initially, I worked on Tanera part-time, making sticks in the evenings and weekends. The following year I would work on the camans through the summer and return to site-based work through the winter. In 2019 I took the big step of leaving my joinery business and entering into caman-making full-time. My shinty roots run deep, and so does my connections to the area where I live, work and play shinty. The Tanera Camans workshop is situated on the family croft which has belonged to the family of my late Grandfather, David Michael Fraser, for many years. My Grandfather helped a great deal with setting up the business and I doubt I would still be in production today if it wasn’t for his help. Currently I work full time at the workshop alongside my Uncle, Christopher. When we complete the sticks up to the varnishing stage, they are then handed over to my partner Donna who applies the branding. Donna also manages the office and deals with orders, packaging and postage, which our daughter Jenna also helps with. Our son, Lewis, although still young, takes any opportunity he can to go out and help Dad at the workshop.
On the Park
Shinty is in my blood, and part of my desire to produce camans is because I am a player, and want to ensure that every player can receive a caman which elevates their enjoyment of this great sport. I started shinty at Tomnacross Primary School and won the Mackay Cup in 1992 for the first time in the school’s history before retaining the cup in 1993. Moving on to secondary, I was in the first Charleston Academy side to win the Wade Cup in 1995, retaining it in 1996 and receiving a school commendation for “Outstanding Performance” for this. My first shinty love is Lovat Shinty Club, and I won the U14 MacMaster Cup in 1995, the U17 WJ Cameron League in 1998 and the U21 Strathglass Cup in 1997 and 1998. As a senior player I helped the club win the Sutherland Cup for the first time in 2000. We were runner’s up in 2009 in both the Sutherland Cup and Strathdearn Cup before winning the Sutherland cup for the second time in 2010. On the 3rd time of trying finally in 2013 we won the Strathdearn. I was honoured to be a part of the Lovat team which won the MacTavish Cup in 2014. I am delighted that I have been voted Lovat’s Player’s Player of the Year on three separate occasions. In 2015, I reluctantly took a step back from playing to concentrate on meeting the overwhelming demand for camans. Having played pre-season for Lovat, it was just my luck, but also a matter of great pride and pleasure, that this was the year the boys would take the Camanachd Cup back to Kiltarlity, and that so many of them did so playing with Tanera Camans. In recent years my son Lewis has started to play the sport through Inverness Shinty Club’s active youth setup. It’s my desire to be able to play alongside him one day, and so I have again picked up the caman and now play for Inverness Shinty Club. I was delighted to be part of their Mòd Cup winning team in 2021. No matter which club you play for, and at whatever level, I hope that you enjoy the sport for as long as you can. Playing shinty is a privilege that is denied to so many. Enjoy it with a Tanera Caman in hand.