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Scottish Committee Meeting report 9th May 2023

The Scottish Committee travelled to the border’s town of Hawick for their spring meeting earlier this month. Some travelled by car, some by train followed by taxi, for the 50 miles trip from Edinburgh and further afield through stunning rolling green countryside with blue skies and sunshine adding to the vista.

L-R: Michael Urquhart, Alan Winchester, Norman Murray, Annabel Meikle, Jane Cumming, PM Kenny Mackay, John Fordyce, Mark Kent, Jerry Riley, Marcus Pickering, Iain Lochhead

Our destination was the Borders Distillery, a relatively new distillery which opened in March 2018, but it is the first borders distillery to be built and operated in the area since 1837. John Fordyce, the current MD, and his colleagues converted the building which previously housed Hawick’s electrical works since 1903, into a modern, bright award-winning building where the distillery it is today located next to the river Teviot. They distil gin, vodka, and spirit (to become whisky) here using barely from twelve local farms all within 35 miles of the distillery.

The business part of the meeting was spent reviewing past events and planning future events in the support of what the Worshipful Company do here in Scotland, supporting the work in VTEC, Charity, Military Affiliations and of course fellowship by way of organising the annual Scottish Dinner. We are returning to the Signet Library for the dinner again (this is our 6th dinner here) on Thursday 14th September and booking, which will be all done online this year, from, we anticipate, mid-June or early July. We do anticipate high demand so we would urge you to look out for the booking email from the Clerk’s Office and make your booking as soon as possible thereafter.

As well as the normal business, we held a ceremony to grant Freedom of the Company to five candidates: Jane Cumming, Norman Murray CBE, Mark Kent CMG, John Fordyce (our host) and Alan Winchester. We are delighted to welcome them to the Company as they start their journey to becoming Liverymen in due course.

After lunch we enjoyed a tour of the Distillery before heading back to all points north! Thank you, John, for your kind hospitality and there was quite a few bottles heading north which I am sure will be enjoyed in the days to come.

Michael Urquhart CBE
Scottish Committee Chairman