Family firm hoping to remain as much of a glass act as ever after moving from Hawick to Selkirk

A father-and-son glass-making team are firing on all cylinders after bidding a fond farewell to Hawick and moving to a new home 11 miles north in Selkirk.

Thursday, 12th December 2019, 1:30 pm
Peter Holmes, right, and son Andrew at Holmes Glass in Selkirk.

Scottish Borders Art Glass had been based in a unit at Galalaw Business Park in Hawick for 16 years, making and selling hand-made glass items such as vases, bowls, paperweights and baubles.

Over that time, the business’s owner, Peter Holmes, has passed on the ancient skill of glassblowing to son Andrew.

Now the pair have moved to new unit at Forest Mill in Station Road in Selkirk, their home-town, and renamed the business Holmes Glass.

Andrew Holmes at Holmes Glass in Selkirk.

It was a tough decision to make the move, given the support they have enjoyed from Teries over the years, but the benefits outweighed the drawback, according to Peter, 72.

He explained: “The history of this is that I used to own 50% of Selkirk Glass, and I moved to Hawick in 2003 and had been operating there for the last 16 years, and I gave my son a training in glass and he’s now taking over the reins, and we’re setting up the new studio so he can continue on into the future.

“We have moved because we needed to establish an identity for Andrew, and that’s why we are now calling the business Holmes Glass, which is both our surnames.

“We both live in Selkirk, so it meant that we had to travel each day to Hawick, and this opportunity came up and we decided to move into this building when it became available. It’s a slightly bigger building and has a nicer shop area.”

Further in the future, there are plans to take on an apprentice to join the firm’s current two-man team, Peter having no immediate plans to retire.

As before, customers are welcome to pop along to the unit to see the glass-making process at work in Selkirk.

Peter says that despite glass-making being an ancient skill, it remains a viable modern-day business, explaining: “The market has changed considerably over the years, but we are earning enough to make a living.

“We want to get back and start to develop the arts side more than we have been previously.

“We do all sorts of things. We even put people’s ashes into glass items when they have passed away.

“We have taken over this industrial unit which was previously an old mill and which has been converted.

“It has a nicer ambience to it than the old unit.”

Peter admitted that it was only with something of a heavy heart that the decision to relocate was made.

He said: “I must say we have one regret in leaving, and that is that the people in Hawick have supported us tremendously, and without their support, we would not be able to do what we are doing now, but the logistics have kicked in and Selkirk would be better for us when the alarms go off.

“We have glass-making processes and sometimes we had to go over to Hawick in the middle of the night in winter, at two or three in the morning, because the alarms had gone off. Now we can quickly get down the road in Selkirk.

“There is currently just the two of us, but we will be looking at taking on an apprentice further down the line.”