An 85-year-old Peebles adventure-seeker returned fresh from the Antartic, having discovered possibly Selkirk’s farthest travelled tartan.
Morag Scott spent 20 days in January touring the Antarctic Peninsula and Falkland Islands, putting names to the faces and places in the black and white photographs belonging to her late husband Eric, who worked as a marine engineer on the ship John Brisco in the Antarctic Ocean, before they married in 1955. Eric helped bring back the first King Penguins to the UK - whose descendents still splash about in Edinburgh Zoo.
“I had all these pictures,” she told The Wee Paper, “and I just wondered what they were, and what it was like.”
The octogenarian said the £13k trip “turned out to be a big adventure,” and she wanted to inspire young Borderers to live and work near the South Pole.
Visiting a hut-museum at Port Lockroy beside the Ross Sea, the former child carer spotted a scarf to ward off the icy chill, in an ‘Antarctic tartan’ woven for the Antarctic Heritage Trust by Lochcarron in Selkirk. White squares symbolise the ice-sheet continent, while bands of grey and orange represent the grey rock of nunataks and orange lichens, while yellow, black and white signify the Emperor Penguin’s plumage.
Is this Selkirk’s wildest, most remote tartan? Langholm’s Esk Valley Knitwear wove a Lunar Tartan, grey as moon rocks, for Neil Armstrong’s 1971 visit, while astronaut Alan Bean actually flew his tartan to the moon on Apollo 12 – “to claim it for the MacBeans”.