After a bit of recovery time, I was ready for the last leg of the journey – and to find the Harris Tweed weavers of Scotland. A train journey to Inverness and then on by car to Ullerpool, then ferry to the Stornoway …
Lewis and Harris are one island and both make Harris Tweed. The wool is processed in one of three mills and the back beam of the Hattersley looms wound ready for the weavers.
I found the weavers – but to my great excitement I also found looms – made in Keighley!
Harris Tweed must be made in the Hebrides and should be made from Cheviot wool. The results are beautiful and extremely expensive with a meter of cloth retailing at around £70! The main market for this nowadays is Japan … but it all started with Lady Dunmore’s attempts to empower the local people during the hardships of potato famine.
I got very excited about the Hattersley loom and contacted the Storrnoway Gazette to see if they know of any looms that would like to come ‘home’ to Bradford!
Maybe this is the end of a Churchillian adventure (this guy taking me over the loch to visit theScorraig Weavers was the grandson of Randolph Churchill’s Private Secretary) but there is a lot to bring home to Bradford and I sense that things might just be beginning …
Thanks for following the blog …. if you want to hear what happens next then go to http://www.touchstone-bradford.org.uk
Meanwhile, let me know if you find a pot of gold!