Blairgowrie beams out Bob’s bonnie berry kilt to the globe

A tartan inspired by Blairgowrie’s abundant berries and cherries is to make its first official appearance this month at Expo, one of VisitScotland’s flagship events aimed at selling Scotland to the world.

Local Blairgowrie councillor Bob Ellis is set to don a kilt made from the specially designed “Berries and Cherries” tartan for attending the VisitScotland Expo gala dinner on the Wednesday night, and will also be wearing his official outfit on the stand on both days.

The tartan has been developed by master craftsman and weaver Ashleigh Slater from warpweftweave studio who, encouraged by Melanie Thomson of local fruit growers Thomas Thomson, registerined the new Tartan with the intent of using it to promote the town.

Accompanied by Hamish the Scottie dog in a matching tartan coat, Bob gave his new outfit its first showing for a photo shoot held at The Angus Hotel in Blairgowrie, raising a toast to what he hopes will become The Famous Tartan with another of Perthshire’s famous exports: The Famous Grouse blended whisky.

Bob commented:

“I’m delighted to be giving the tartan it first ‘official” outing at such a prestigious tourism event where it will be seen by people from all over the world, and very proud to be representing Blairgowrie and East Perthshire.”

“Ashleigh’s choice of colours in the tartan was exactly right for the fruits that we grow locally here in Blairgowrie. It has a wonderful cherry as the background, with blueberries to the fore as well as traditional raspberries and strawberries running through it. However it’s not just our soft fruits that make Blairgowrie the perfect place to visit. Blairgowrie is ideally located for touring Scotland, our countryside is easily accessible and – although I might be biased – spectacular. It’s an ideal area for walking from short walks to the first long distance circular, the 64 mile Cateran Trail, and we pride ourselves on having many of Scotland’s most popular tourist attractions right on our doorstep.”

The VisitScotland Expo trade fair, which will be held on the 20th & 21st April in Edinburgh this year, is attended by thousands of visitors from around the globe. This is the first time in several years that Blairgowrie has been represented on the stand, highlighting the growing importance of tourism for the region.

A range of local businesses have come together under the umbrella of BEPTA (Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourist Association) to fly the flag for the county town on a regional stand that has been co-ordinated by Perth & Kinross Council. Local businesses who will be attending include representatives from The Angus Hotel, Glenshee & Strathardle Tourist Association and Outdoor Explore.