A party of Dutch retailers visited the Borders in March 1982 when they toured the Clan Royal of Scotland mill and textile museum in Walkerburn.
Their two-day visit to the area was a prize in a competition run by the International Woollen Secretariat in Holland. The 111 visitors were welcomed to Clan Royal by its managing director Geoff Whittaker who explained that the company was part of Laidlaw & Fairgrieve and came under the wing of Dawson International.
Visitor Henk van der Feest explained that 1,300 retailers had taken part in a window-dressing competition on the theme of comfort, warmth and quality, and the visiting group consisted of the winners.
He explained: “The competition is judged by a jury and the person who won the top golden prize has done so for the second year running. This is the first time I have been in Scotland and it is particularly interesting visiting the Borders – the mecca of woollen textiles.”
Sadly the Borders can no longer claim to be that mecca. Clan Royal and L&F ceased trading many years ago and the giant that was once Dawson crashed in the UK last year.
– compiled by Bob Burgess