Provost Donald Balsillie has announced the winner of a competition to design the county’s first official tartan.
The competition was open to learners across Clackmannanshire in S1-S6. Along with their tartan designs, they were asked to submit storyboards and written work detailing how their chosen colours and patterns reflect Clackmannanshire’s rich natural and cultural heritage. They also proposed an enterprise idea for a product made from their tartan that would bring social and economic benefits to the community.
Sixteen young people from Alva, Lornshill and Dollar Academies took on the challenge, and their entries were considered by a judging panel that included the Provost, together with textile designer and weaver Claire Hunter, and bespoke kilt-maker Lesley Thornton. The judges were unanimous in awarding first place to 15-year-old Ronan Anderson, whose design included five colours inspired by aspects of Clackmannanshire’s geology, wildlife, social history and industrial heritage.
The Provost said: “It was a privilege to promote and judge the competition for Clackmannanshire’s first official tartan as this competition was a real opportunity, not only to honour our area’s strong heritage of textile manufacture and design, but also to enable young people to get involved in the research, marketing and promotion of our county. Tartan is recognised worldwide and Ronan’s design will live on in Clackmannanshire’s history. It is my hope that, once registered with the Tartan Authority, local individuals, organisations and businesses will use the tartan design to assist the promotion of the area, products and events.”
The competition was facilitated through FIDA – The Futures Institute at Dollar Academy – which hosted an award ceremony for all participants and their teachers on Friday 3 March. The ceremony was attended by Provost Balsillie and his fellow judges, as well as FIDA’s founder and Rector of Dollar Academy, Ian Munro. Every young person who took part received a personal Certificate of Achievement. The panel was impressed by the high standard of entries overall, and awarded four runners-up prizes to Abi Morrison, Evie Muir, Chloe Murray and Lois Thomson. Thanks go to sponsors Ceteris and McCall’s Highlandwear of Tillicoultry who kindly donated £300 in prize gift vouchers.
Ian Munro said: “I am delighted that we have been able to collaborate with the Provost and other schools in Clackmannanshire to deliver this exciting competition through FIDA, and it has been inspiring to see so much creativity and commitment from young people across the county.”
Mhairi Taylor, Art teacher at Lornshill Academy, said: “Learners were excited by working to a live brief with real deadlines and the possibility of their designs being taken forward into production as Clackmannanshire’s first official tartan. The resources provided were excellent. Learners enjoyed researching Clackmannanshire’s rich heritage, and many of them engaged with their own family history to develop their design ideas.”
Winner Ronan Anderson will now have the exciting opportunity to develop his tartan with Claire Hunter and to see it submitted for registration as Clackmannanshire’s first official tartan.