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Tartan goes Dutch

A researcher from the University of St Andrews in Scotland has designed a new tartan specifically for the people of Holland.

Dr David Wishart of the University’s School of Management was commissioned by his publisher in Utrecht to design a new tartan for use at Scottish events such as the annual Dutch Whisky Festival.

Dr Wishart is no stranger to designing original plaid – he is the designer behind the Wishart (Dress and Hunting) tartans, having been frustrated at the non- existence of a family tartan.

‘Tartan of Holland’ was unveiled over the weekend (Saturday 3rd September) by the first Dutchmen to wear the new tartan – Crescens Akkermans and his brother Pierre travelled from Amsterdam to collect their new kilt outfits, which includes specially designed black fur sporrans and belts incorporating the lion rampant of the Netherlands.

The Dutch tartan took five months to design and has been officially registered under the International Tartan Index of the Scottish Tartans Authority, which registers several hundred new tartans every year. The first consignment of kilts and scarves produced in Galashiels has already been pre- sold in the Netherlands, with another batch being reordered.

Dr Wishart explained the need for a Dutch tartan: “Around 5,000 whisky lovers attend the Dutch Whisky Festival in Leiden each November, and many wear kilts for the occasion. However, there was no really suitable tartan for the whisky lovers of Holland until now. Some keen Dutch enthusiasts therefore “borrowed” a Scottish family link as an excuse to wear their tartan. For instance, a Dutch MacKay tartan was created to honour Baron Aeneas Mackay, Prime Minister of the Netherlands 1888- 91, the great grandfather of the present Chief of the MacKays.

“Now there’s no longer any need for a Dutchman to masquerade under a Scottish name – the Netherlands, our closest neighbour on continental Europe now has its own wholly original tartan.

The “Tartan of Holland” combines the colours of the Netherlands national flag (red, white and blue) with orange, for the Royal House of Orange.”

The tartan was designed – under the advice of kilt-makers – using a computer-based design programme, and the first batch was manufactured last week at Lochcarron’s Nether Mill in Galashiels.

While traditionalists may assert that tartan is the Scottish national dress, to be reserved exclusively for Scottish Highland families, Dr Wishart is keen to point out the strong trading history between Scotland and Holland.

“The Tartan of Holland will surely link our two proud and historic nations more closely,” he said.

Dr Wishart attends the Dutch Whisky Festival as the author of “Whisky Classified: Choosing Single Malts by Flavour”, now available in 5 editions including two in Dutch published by Het Spectrum. On 11-13 November 2005 he will re-launch his Dutch edition “Single Malt Whisky: Kiezen op Smaak” (ISBN 9027488746), distributed in Benelux by Gall & Gall, at the Leiden Festival.

Further Information at: www.tartanofholland.info Official site of the new tartan. www.whiskyfestival.nl Annual whisky tasting festival in the Netherlands. www.tartansauthority.com Scottish Tartans Authority.

NOTE TO EDITORS: DR WISHART IS AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW IN ADVANCE ON Tel: +44 (0)131 337 1448 / 07808 763 191 OR EMAIL dw4@st-andrews.ac.uk

NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS:

IMAGES OF THE FIRST DUTCHMEN MODELLING THE NEW TARTAN OF HOLLAND AT THE FAMOUS GROUSE EXPERIENCE (GLENTURRET DISTILLERY) IN CRIEFF WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM PHIL HANNAH AFTER SATURDAY – 01738 583 768 / 07720 888 347, philphoto@btinternet.com

IMAGES OF THE TARTAN BEING MANUFACTURED ARE ALSO AVAILABLE – CONTACT THE PRESS OFFICE ON 01334 462529 / 467227.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st- andrews.ac.uk Ref: Tartan of Holland 020905.doc View the latest University press releases at http://www.st- andrews.ac.uk

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