Financial manager and owner of Greywalls Hotel, Gullane

Born: April 4, 1946;

Died: February 22, 2020.

GILES Weaver, who has died aged 73, was a much-loved and respected figure in the East Lothian town of Gullane. His family owned the beautiful Lutyens villa of Greywalls beside the clubhouse at Muirfield – the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Weaver had an astute mind and followed a distinguished career in investment management.

His widow Ros told The Herald: “Giles was an amazing mixture for a serious businessman: he made time for sport, games and parties with friends – all of which he loved. I never knew him to refuse an invitation willingly, and he was still planning parties when he died.”

Christopher Giles Herron Weaver was the son of Lt Col. John Weaver and Ursula (née Horlick). He attended Eton and trained as an accountant with Maclellan Moore. During his apprenticeship he was attached to Apple Corps, the Beatles’ business venture. Weaver took much pleasure in handing out the weekly allowance of £25 to the wives of the Fab Four.

Weaver then attended the London Business School and in 1976 joined the renowned Charlotte Square financial firm of Ivory and Sime, in Edinburgh. From 1986 he was with Prudential Portfolio Managers; in 1990 he was appointed Chief Investment Manager of Murray Johnstone. In 2000 Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM) bought Murray Johnstone to make the firm the largest independent fund manager in Scotland. Weaver remained with the firm until 2013.

David MacLennan, a colleague of many years at AAM, told The Herald, “I had known Giles since 1990 and he was a wonderful person to work with. He was bright, intelligent and a very supportive boss. Giles was always positive with bags of charm and endless energy.”

Greywalls is an institution in East Lothian. It was built in 1901 and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, with gardens attributed to Gertrude Jekyll. In 1924 it was purchased by Sir James Horlick, founder of the bed-time malted drink, Horlicks. Weaver’s mother inherited it during the war and she decided to turn it into a hotel in 1948.

When Giles and Ros Weaver inherited Greywalls in 1977 they greatly enhanced the hotel’s reputation for comfort, good food and conviviality. Weaver took a very hands-on approach to management. They were active in many capacities; on one occasion, Weaver had to be dragged from the ninth tee at Muirfield because the hotel chefs had gone on strike. Somehow the 80 guests were happy with their dinner but the Weavers delighted in calling themselves Mr and Mrs Fawlty in the early days. Weaver always did the books for the hotel on a Saturday morning before disappearing for a round of golf at Muirfield.

Muirfield was associated for many years with The Open Championships and Greywalls hosted Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo and Ernie Els. Weaver’s son Jack piped Els into dinner on the night of his victory in 2002.

Weaver himself played golf with a competitive passion and served on the committee of Muirfield. As a child he had played the course every day in his school holidays with his father and played for the club in matches, notably in the Kummel Cup against Prestwick, and in the Moira Gillespie Northern Challenge at Brora. In less competitive games he ensured there were four glasses of Pimms on the wall at Greywalls by the ninth green.

He was also a keen tennis and bridge player, playing bridge often at Boodles in London. Christmas was always a particularly happy time for him. There was an annual gathering of family and friends on Christmas morning in an old ruined chapel on the banks of the Forth, and every member of the family would recite an appropriate verse.

He was a voracious reader and loved listening to audio books in the years he drove to Glasgow for meetings at the James Finlay company, where he was a director. His other many interests were wide and varied. He was Deputy Chairman of the National Galleries of Scotland and a keen collector of pictures; chairman of Historic Housing Association (Scotland), and a trustee of the Lutyens Trust. He loved poetry and wrote a poem for every important occasion throughout his life.

His zest for life never left him. He did a degree in Modern History at Edinburgh University, aged 68. Ros remembers: “Giles was a loving, supportive, imaginative and fun husband and father who was always ready to play games and take the family on exciting adventures. He started showing signs of Multiple System Atrophy five years ago. He was doggedly determined not to become and invalid. He never complained about it or showed any signs of self-pity.”

Weaver married Rosamund (née Mayhew) in 1974.

She survives him along with their four children and seven grandchildren.

Alasdair Steven