Spotlight on Pringle of yesteryear

AS former workers made their way into the old yarn store there was a romantic and reminiscent smell of wool in the air that immediately brought back feelings of nostalgia.

Back to the days when the mill was vibrant and the centre of its activities was right here in Hawick – when Pringle of Scotland was synonymous with the town and when the town was synonymous with Pringle .

Memories are all that are left and they were rekindled at the Day of Record held last Thursday.

Hanging from rails, draped on mannequins and piled on tables was a vast collection of vintage pieces dating as far back as 1912 – a stunning collection of 121 garments were donated by Carole Douglas.

And a whole host of people, ranging from former factory workers to Pringle models from the 1960s, came laden with clothing and relics from the brand's past.

Meanwhile, on the walls were photographs and advertising material, dating from Pringle's early days all the way to its latest campaigns.

Among the guests was Provost Zandra Elliot, Maureen Gibson, the great great grand daughter of Robert Pringle and Pringle of Scotland creative director Clare Waight Keller.

A surprise was the arrival of Lesley Rankin, Pringle's first female designer and something of a trailblazer for the company in the 1960s.

She said: "It was fascinating working with such skilled, traditional craftsmen, who were excited about doing something new. I still love the colours we used after all these years."

The Day of Record was the first step in Pringle's mission to create an archive of items from its long history. And it has deployed a team of Central Saint Martins students, from London, to research and catalogue each item.

listair O'Neill, course leader at Central St Martins, who also attended on the day, said this was only the start, with several other events planned for the future.

He told the Hawick News: "This is only the beginning. We are organising a film screening with Scottish Borders Council at the Heart of Hawick cinema in September and will screen some of the rare film footage we have found of the Pringle factory, fashion shows and documentaries.

"We are also putting on an exhibition at Hawick Museum's Textile Townhouse in March next year so that we can display some of the garments we will have found.

"We hope the Day of Record will be the start of a great project that can help preserve this important aspect of Scottish textile history in Hawick for posterity."