'I was proud to work for Pringle's'

"The emphasis was on quality and this was drummed into you. And you took pride in your work. I was proud to say I was a Pringle's worker."

These were the comments of one-time Pringle frameworker Andy Amos, pictured, as he reflected on the Pringle's of yesteryear. When the knitwear industry was in its prime and when Pringle was famed for its garments, which were wanted worldwide.

Andy told the Hawick News: "I started work in Pringle in 1954 and Robbie Knox was my foreman. And I still remember being told from the very start that it was quality that counted most and to do the job right.

"After finishing my apprenticeship I did two years' national service. But the mill kept your job open for you and once I was finished I was back standing at a frame in Pringle's."

With Pringle extending their top mill, Andy moved from the now long-gone Weensland factory to Rodono. "We were very busy and so was the rest of the town," said Andy. "You could pick and choose your job in the mills. You could pick up the Hawick paper on a Wednesday and by Friday you could have another job if you wanted it.

He continued: "Pringle's made real high-class garments and knitted for top film stars such as Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. The Queen and The Queen Mother as well as other members of the Royal family also got their knitwear from Pringle's. And in the mill there were plaques showing that we had knitted for royalty and I was very proud of that."

Andy also recalls: "Work was fun then. You used to get plenty of laughs but you always worked hard and did your job.

"Pringle's had their own hockey and cricket teams and held all sorts of functions such as sports awards nights and there was always a bit of camaraderie in the mill."

Andy, who was to become frame foreman as well as work in the sample room, was to see things change though and he says: "They began to bring bosses in who hadn't a clue about knitwear as they had worked in other industries. And that was the start of it. Quality disappeared and quantity came in."

Andy, who left Pringle's to join Johnstons before retiring six years ago, was, however, stunned with the happenings of this week.

"People realised things were not great, but I didn't think Pringle's would just shut their doors.

"I worked in Pringle, so did my mother and father, my two sisters and one of my brothers as well as many Hawick families. And it's so sad to see Pringles finish up the way it has."