Just over a week ago I found myself in Stornoway, the capital of the Western Isles on the hunt of a story that started in Chelsea. The RHS Chelsea Flower Show to be precise and a Gold Medal winning garden that had shown the history of weaving in the Hebrides.
Now there is only one place to start a story on Harris Tweed and that is at the Harris Tweed Authority. The Authority is housed in the beautiful and statuesque Town Hall which overlooks Stornoway harbor and it was a beautiful, calm, sunny day when I made my visit to meet Lorna Macaulay, the Authorities Chief Executive.
As you would imagine the Authorities offices are furnished with Harris Tweed but used in imaginative ways; from an inlaid table runner to a quirky stag’s head, made from a variety of brown Harris Tweed’s.
As we sat on beautifully upholstered Harris Tweed chairs Lorna told me a story of Harris Tweed that I had not heard before. More than just making a material, the Tweed has a unique story which links people on the land to the cloth they weave.
Sitting listening to Lorna images that connect the weavers to the land and the land to the cloth looked down upon me.
My long distance journey led to a long story which I look forward to telling in full as I write it up, for amongst others the Sheepdrove Trust, who were partners in the RHS Chelsea Gold Medal winning garden.
Until then I would like to thank Lorna for talking the time to see me (on very short notice!) and sharing the story of Harris Tweed.