Check it out as Corstorphine's Aussie baron adds tartan touch

IT seems everyone wants to get in on the act these days. First it was sports teams, then businesses, now Corstorphine is to get its own tartan - the first of Edinburgh's historic villages to take the step.

The Corstorphine tartan may sound as though it's steeped in ancient Scottish roots.

But it has been designed by an Australian who spent 50,000 buying the historic title of the Baron of Corstorphine.

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Australian businessman Michael John Milne commissioned the tartan from Leith kilt makers Kinloch Anderson during a recent visit to the Capital. Mr Milne spent part of his visit seeing the neighbourhood associated with his title for the first time.

The businessman, who lives in Neutral Bay, Sydney, has ancestors believed to have come from the north-east of Scotland.

His new tartan will be named Milne of Corstorphine, and has been put on the official tartan register, meaning it can be ordered by anyone keen to celebrate their links with the community.

Amateur historian Gordon Dean, a member of the Corstorphine Trust, which sold the title to Mr Milne, said the new tartan was the first to be specially designed for any of Edinburgh's districts.

He added: "It makes Corstorphine totally unique in the city. Other areas and towns in Scotland have their own tartans, but we're the only specific part of Edinburgh that has one, which is fantastic.

"I also think it will prove very popular among local residents when they see it. New tartans are always popular and I'm sure this one will prove no different.

"A lot of people who don't have a family tartan but live in the area will be able to have a kilt made up for them for weddings and formal occasions.

"When Mr Milne first bought the ancient title, we weren't expecting this to happen at all. The fact that he designed it as well makes it even more unique.

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"Hopefully it will set a trend for other parts of the city to get their own tartans made as well."

Mr Mile bought the vacant title of Baron of Corstorphine earlier this year with the proceeds of the sale going towards community projects.

The title had been kept by heritage group the Corstorphine Trust for years after being passed on to it by former barons the Dickson family.

The historic title had once been in the possession of the Forrester family, who owned most of the land in and around Corstorphine. But over the years all of the associated land involved in the barony has been sold off.

The tartan has been designed in green and blue, with a thin red check. Mr Dean added that the predominant shade of green was meant to represent the family colour of the Forrester family, who were the ancient patrons of Corstorphine.

Deidre Kinnoch Anderson, owner of kiltmakers Kinnoch Anderson, said: "Mr Milne has worked with us before and he asked us to be responsible for the production of his tartan, which he designed himself.

"We've already made him up a kilt outfit and he is also interested in getting a coat of arms made, as well as purchasing items such as silk scarves in his tartan.

"We have also officially registered the Milne of Corstorphine tartan for further production."

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In the Corstorphine Inn, the idea received a less than enthusiastic reception.

Laura Boig, 29, assistant bar manager, said: "I don't think it's going to be that popular to be honest.

"Tartans are all about your family heritage, and I would have thought they're more relevant to your name rather than the place you live.

"I haven't seen the design, but regardless of how good it is, I wouldn't have thought there's going to be a massive rush for it."


EVERYTHING from best-selling novels to the Hare Krishna movement have registered their own tartans.

A special Rosslyn Da Vinci tartan was created recently to celebrate the success of Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code.

American companies and organisations have also been keen to create their own tartans - with American Express and the American Society of Travel Agents among the many to have an individual tartan designed for them.

Hearts and Hibs are among a host of sports clubs who have tartans designed for their supporters.

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Amnesty International and religious groups including the Hare Krishna movement also have their own designs.

Although Corstorphine is the first district in Edinburgh to have a specially-designed tartan, other nearby towns and villages such as Musselburgh already have their own tartans.

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