Agriculture, environment, community and small businesses: Prince Charles in Scotland

Prince Charles spent a day full of busy engagements on Friday in Scotland, where his formal title is The Duke of Rothesay.

He spent the day in Hawick where local business is booming to celebrate British Industry in the town. The future King was given a warm and enthusiastic welcome by residents and a traditional Piping band, despite the overcast weather.

His love of small enterprises and locally sourced products is well known, so he was in his element as he visited local businesses dressed in a traditional kilt and sporran with a matching tweed blazer and obligatory poppy during this Remembrance season.

His day started off at a local knitwear factory and  just before he walked in,  children from Wiggly Worms Nursery presented him with a china mug bearing the school’s name, which he cheerfully raised to the group.

Scotts & Charters Knitwear Factory is a  family business founded in 1955 in the heart of the Scottish Borders. The visit marked the official opening of the firm’s new factory which provides the opportunity to expand the business in Hawick. This is the first new factory to be built in Hawick in 40 years.

Prince Charles then went to Lovat Mill, a local clothing manufacturer based on the banks of the River Teviot where he viewed tweed samples. The term “tweed” was coined accidentally almost 200 years ago when a London cloth merchant misread a label marked “tweel” – the Scots dialect word for twill – written on a consignment of cloth from Hawick weaver William Watson. Lovat Mill now stands just a few yards from where Watson’s mill once stood.

The Duke then went on to Hawico, a family owned and run business specialising in cashmere who hosted a reception for the initiative ‘Famously Hawick’ in one of their workspaces. The Royal was met by the Chairman, Jim Thomson, who showed him the materials and products that the company produces as well as to celebrate British industry in the area.

The Duke of Rothesay travelled to Melrose where he met local residents during a tour of Mainstreet Trading Company, a café and bookshop in St Boswell’s. The business was originally built as an old auction house and grocers but has since been converted into a bookshop, deli and café and has become a thriving hub for the local community.

On his way in, Charles was handed a box by an onlooker and he beamed as he peered inside to take a closer look at the pizza inside!

Once inside, Charles delighted in sampling some of the homemade goods on offer. The Prince of Wales commented that the deli was ‘bigger than it appeared’, and asked residents on what the ‘hot topics’ are in the village.

He even said that his wife, Camilla, would have loved to have joined him for a spot of shopping at the homeware shop where he stopped off to sniff some home-made scented candles.

Charles then made a stop at the Old Melrose Dairy Steading where he viewed sheep and went on to admire an exhibition of walking sticks that were all intricately and uniquely decorated. A group of scouts were  at the dairy and the Duke stopped to chat to them as they toasted  marshmallows over a fire pit in front of a Saltire flag.

Despite his packed agenda the 70 year old future monarch was in high spirits all day, chatting to bystanders at each of his engagements.

From there, he went to Tweed Forum to open their new offices. Tweed Forum is an environmental charity dedicated to protecting and conserving the River Tweed and its surroundings where he met farmers, foresters, landowners and ghillies.

All work together with public and private sector bodies on both sides of the border to help restore the river, boost fish stocks and attract tourists.

James Hepbourne, Chairman of Tweed Forum said “We are delighted that His Royal Highness will officially open Tweed Forums’s new offices and are greatly looking forward to telling him about our partnership approach to the management of the river, which is delivering significant environmental benefits’.

“Together with all our partners, we share a passion for this important river and it will be a privilege to tell His Royal Highness about the work we carry out to protect and conserve it”

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