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Saturday, November 03, 2007

At the Foothills Highland Games

I've just returned from the 7th Annual Foothills Highland Games in Hendersonville, NC. These are a very nice mid-sized Games that I have been neglecting to attend of late! I was at their inaugural Games in the year 2000, but since that time I've managed to have other commitments every year on that weekend. This year I was finally able to go, so took the chance.

The Scottish Tartans Museum has always had an information booth there, manned by some of our good volunteers. This year we had museum trustees Walter Taylor and Carl McSween, as well as volunteers Al Bullman and Chuck Coburn. With myself that made for five of us -- more than enough to cover the tartan information table and allow time for each of us to walk around, see the sights, and spend time chit chatting with old friends. And the best part is I was back home by supper time!

So here are some pics from the Games. First, yours truly.
It was a cool day. When we arrived at the Games site at 9:00am, I believe it was just above freezing. It warmed up during the day, but the wind picked up, making it feel very cold at times. I took the opportunity to wear my Harris Tweed kilt suit. It kept me nice and warm, though I admit that I had to keep the jacket on all day! I'm wearing my hinged-cantle sporran that I've posted about in this blog before, only I have had the bag completely replaced by one hand crafted by Adron L. Britt of Ferguson Britt sporrans. (More on that in another post). The walking stick I'm holding isn't mine. It was made by Mark Harden, Baron of Cowdenknowes, who has recently taken up stick making! It's a nice model with a bison horn crook and, if I recall correctly, a hazel wood shaft. I'm just holding it for him in this photo. Speaking of Mark...
Here is the Baron himself, wearing his Harden family tartan, and holding another of his walking sticks. Mark was the "chief of the games" at this year's Foothills Highland Games. He and his family appear to have had a great time. Mark is also a member of the Society of Scottish Armigers, and gave a talk on Scottish heraldry. I spoke to him about coming and giving a similar talk at next year's Taste of Scotland festival in Franklin, NC.
The above photo is of Adron L. Britt (left) and Bob Marin (right). Neither of these two characters really need an introduction, but Adron is the maker of the fine Ferguson Britt line of sporrans we are now proud to carry in the Museum's gift shop, and Bob is a kiltmaker (retired) and kilt historian, who taught yours truly how to make kilts. Adron is wearing the Burnett tartan in a feilidh mor and Bob is wearing a plaid in the Marin tartan, a waistcoat in the Campbell, and (though you cannot see it in this photo) a box pleated kilt in the "R. W.'s Fancy" tartan (his personal tartan). (By the way, those are Mark Harden's hands to the right grasping the single malt and pointing commands).

Lastly, a group shot. From left to right: James A. Bullman (my co-author on the Compendium of District Tartans), wearing a fine tweed Inverness cape (that he could have sold nine times over today!), and a 5 yard Kinguisse pleated Roxburgh tartan kilt that you cannot see; Bruce Ball, a friend of Bob Martin's who designed his own Ball tartan and made his own kilt; Marjorie Warren, of Thistle Studio, a very talented tartan handweaver; and yours truly.

I had a great day, spent some good times with friends, and managed to leave only buying a cup of coffee, a meat pie, and two heather plants that will soon be in my garden!
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Anonymous said...

The owner of a feudal barony, or laird as they are usually known, on the one hand, and a baron in the peerage, or lord, on the other, are two quite different things. The former are quite far down the order of precedence, ranking below knights, while the latter are noblemen entitled to sit in the House of Lords if representative peers.

Matthew Newsome, FSA Scot, GTS said...


I'm sure that Mark Harden is quite aware of his place in the order of precedence.