Royal visit marks investment at mill

Princess Anne speaks with some of the firm's young apprentices .
Princess Anne speaks with some of the firm's young apprentices .

The Princess Royal returned to the Borders for the second time in the space of a few weeks this morning, this time paying a visit to Peebles.

Princess Anne, president of the UK Fashion and Textile Association, visited Holland and Sherry to open the firm’s new £500,000 weaving shed before heading on to Berwickshire.

Princess Anne talks to Keith McIntosh during the mill tour.

Princess Anne talks to Keith McIntosh during the mill tour.

She was welcomed by the lord-lieutenant of Tweeddale, Hew Strachan, and the mill’s chief operating officer, Frank O’Reilly.

Princess Anne was shown around the mill’s different departments and met staff to hear how some of the 113 employees at the Venlaw Road mill got into the industry.

She unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the shed and was presented with a Scottish posey of thistles and flowers by six-year-old Emily Thorburn, the daughter of a mill employee and a pupil at the town’s Halyrude Primary School.

Mr O’Reilly thanked Princess Anne for her visit and added: “This new facility, combined with our new apprenticeships, provides opportunities for growth and ensures our design and weaving skills are passed on to the next generation.

Staff gather outside to bid farewell to their Royal visitor.

Staff gather outside to bid farewell to their Royal visitor.

“An investment of around £500,000 has been made in building and machinery to create this facility that is vital in creating the unique custom patterns that we offer to tailors and designers around the world.”

Holland Sherry says the new weaving shed will safeguard some of the textile skills in Peebles and Scottish Borders for the next generation and is the corner stone for the continued growth of the company.

Princess Anne visiting Holland & Sherry in Peebles.

Princess Anne visiting Holland & Sherry in Peebles.

Princess Anne meets staff at Holland & Sherry in Peebles.

Princess Anne meets staff at Holland & Sherry in Peebles.

Princess Anne visiting Holland & Sherry in Peebles. In the bunch room.

Princess Anne visiting Holland & Sherry in Peebles. In the bunch room.

Princess Anne visiting Holland & Sherry in Peebles.

Princess Anne visiting Holland & Sherry in Peebles.