Calls for record-breaking history tapestry to settle in Hawick

John Lamont MSP in front of the 'Borders Tweed' panel of the Great Tapestry of Scotland on show in the Scottish Parliament.
John Lamont MSP in front of the 'Borders Tweed' panel of the Great Tapestry of Scotland on show in the Scottish Parliament.

Hawick should become the permanent home of the world’s longest embroidered tapestry, says local MSP John Lamont.

The politician is backing calls by local stitchers for the Great Tapestry of Scotland to be housed in the Roxburghshire town because of its strong textiles connections.

He said: “With Hawick’s unique history and links to the textiles industry, I can think of no better place. It would also provide a welcome tourist boost for the town as people would undoubtedly travel to come and visit it.”

He has written to Creative Scotland urging the agency to look at placing the 160-panel piece in Hawick and added: “I will continue to do all I can to make their (stitchers’) case.”

The 143-metre tapestry depicting the history of Scotland was unveiled at the Scottish Parliament earlier this month.

The project was launched at the Borders Book Festival in Melrose in 2011 by author Alexander McCall Smith, historian Alistair Moffat and artist Andrew Crummy.

Nearly 1,000 embroidering volunteers spent two years creating the metre square panels from sketches by Crummy, each depicting defining historical events suggested by Moffat.

Borders embroiderers created 10 panels and were involved in more: a group of 12 in Smailholm created Borders Reivers and The Modern Kilt Invented, while three stitchers in Melrose created the half panel, Borders Textiles. Another dozen creatives in and around Stow made Cuthbert at Melrose, which included Celtic Knot designs submitted by local primary schoolchildren.

David I Fosters the Wool Trade was made by seven stitchers in Kelso, while another group of 14 in the town created Duns Scotus and the Schoolmen. Four embroiderers in Selkirk stitched Montrose Defeated at Philiphaugh Near Selkirk 1645, and three based in Melrose made The Black Death.

Seven stitchers created the Battle of Carham on the Tweed 1018 The Border Settles in the South, while another seven, members of the Borders Embroidery Guild, stitched The Great Border Abbeys are Built, and another three, based in West Linton, helped on different panels.

The tapestry is on show at the Scottish Parliament until September 21.