Can the Great Tapestry of Scotland Weave Its Magic and Regenerate Famed Scots Mill Town?

By Devine, Sarah | The Scotsman, January 1, 2018 | Go to article overview

Can the Great Tapestry of Scotland Weave Its Magic and Regenerate Famed Scots Mill Town?


Devine, Sarah, The Scotsman


T hey stitched for 50,000 hours with 30 miles of yarn weaving million years of Scotland's story.

The result was the Great Tapestry of Scotland - 143 metres long - twice the length of the Bayeux Tapestry - and unveiled in September 2013 in the main hall of the Scottish Parliament.

It has toured Scotland, been at the centre of a police investigation when one of the panels was stolen in Kirkcaldy, and sparked a heated debate over where it would ultimately reside.

But now it is hoped a project which celebrates Scotland's past can help secure the future of one corner of the country.

Despite being renowned for the manufacturing of high quality tweeds and textiles, Galashiels has suffered a decline in visitor numbers and high street businesses over recent years.

However, with work a the £6.7 million permanent home in the High Street for the massive artwork due to get underway in the spring, a major regeneration of the town will also start to take shape.

The brainchild of author Alexander McCall Smith, the tapestry project involved 1,000 volunteers across Scotland.

From the Battle of Bannockburn to the Map of Scotland Today, its panels depict more than 400 million years of Scotland's history.

Also home to Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design, Galashiels is a natural home for the artwork. The first record of weaving mills in Galashiels was in 1581, at the Waulkmilhead Mill.

Textile manufacturers were the main employers in the town for many years; in 1788 there were 10 textile manufacturing employers, rising to 35 by 1825. According to Murray Dickson, president of the Old Gala Club history society, the town's textile-making golden age was the 1800s.

"As the Galashiels tweed industry grew, the demand for tweed grew and the town expanded in the 1860s.

"The manufacturers began to show their prosperity by building large mansions many of which are still standing. One fine building is now the Kingknowes Hotel [on Selkirk Road] which still displays the grandeur of the period."

The railway came to Galashiels in 1849 and largely influenced the textile industry in the town.

"The railway halved transport costs to Edinburgh and also led to an influx of foreign produced wool into the mills," says Mr Dickson.

The decline in the manufacturing industry began after the First World War, during which 635 Galashiels' men lost their lives.

"A high amount of casualties were many of the mill owners' sons so by the 1920s, many of the mill owners had no natural successors and the companies were in some cases taken over by outsiders," explains Dickson.

By the 1960s, the industry was in a deep malaise as imports appeared on the market and synthetic materials were introduced.

Many of the mills now sit empty or have been turned into housing.

Unlike in the 1800s, the introduction of the Borders Railway in 2015 has been hailed a success with 22 per cent more users than predicted in its first year.

A short walk from Galashiels railway station is the site of the cultural centre where the tapestry will be on display, which has received £2.5m from the Scottish Government.

It is expected to attract more than 50,000 people to the town each year and create 16 much-needed jobs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Can the Great Tapestry of Scotland Weave Its Magic and Regenerate Famed Scots Mill Town?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.