Tweed, not tweets, is true example of substance

Donald John MacKay MBE and Linda Birkbeck celebrate the Hebridean weaver's achievement

Donald John MacKay MBE and Linda Birkbeck celebrate the Hebridean weaver's achievement

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IT IS reassuring to know that everything of value these days isn’t always something that can be tweeted or made by 3D printers.

The Worshipful Company of Weavers goes back a long way – from before it was granted its first charter by Henry II in 1155. Last month, it awarded its annual silver medal to Harris Tweed weaver Donald John MacKay MBE.

The gong crowned a rolling programme of salutations for MacKay, ever since sportswear giant Nike came knocking at the door of the loom shed behind his house seven years ago.

The company commissioned so much tweed that weavers from across the Outer Hebrides were called in, and MacKay was lauded as a national treasure.

His admirers at the Worshipful Company do include Linda Birkbeck, the managing director of Perthshire’s “Harrods of the North” – House of Bruar, and the Upper Bailiff of the Worshipful Company of Weavers, Jolyon Tibbitts.

The Worshipful Company of Weavers points out it is the oldest of the City of London Livery Companies, although it admits it was in the dark days of the Industrial Revolution that the craft monopoly “lost active control of its trade”.

We wonder – will digital media ever get a livery co that would last so long?

For a bevvy of lovely beers

BEER, we are told, is the new black when it comes to washing down a meal.

So, it was with great interest that two business desk stalwarts headed off to Ryan’s cellar restaurant in Edinburgh’s West End last Thursday to partake in an evening of food and beer matching.

Joined by some of the PR team from Lloyds Banking Group, a select group of diners was treated to various enticing combos, courtesy of the “beer sommeliers” from Molson Coors – though Belgian actor and Coors ad star Jean-Claude Van Damme was, erm, missing in action.

Among the partnerings on offer were Coors Light crispy beer battered king prawns matched with the American lager of the same name, an 8oz sirloin steak accompanied by Doom Bar Cornish ale and a rather tasty chocolate and orange torte served alongside Blue Moon North American wheat beer.

All of which proves there may be a more sophisticated alternative to six pints of heavy and a kebab.

Up for a slice of success

AS MANY a disappointed PR will know, we rarely cover awards on the business desk. One of the reasons for this is the sheer number and breadth of gongs now available.

Where would we draw the line? Would we cover, for example, the British Sandwich Designer of the Year 2013 competition, a contest so hotly disputed its first heat alone will see 11 hopefuls do battle between bread at West Lothian College in Livingston today?

It is, after all, serious stuff, with each competitor building their original take on the 18th century earl’s brainwave in front of a panel of judges drawn from the £6 billion UK industry.

And the design award is just one category in the Sammies.

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