The Industrial Heritage of Tweeddale

Ted McKie & Ross McGinn

Innerleithen Community Trust

Tuesday, 8th October 2019

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30 p.m.

Industrialisation arrived in Innerleithen in 1790 with the completion of Brodie’s Mill, then a modern textile factory designed and equipped to transform wool from raw fleece to the finished garment. Over the course of the nineteenth century, woollen mills were built in Innerleithen, Walkerburn and Peebles bringing prosperity and an expanding population to Tweeddale. Thriving well into the twentieth century, the industry continued to develop and innovate (eg the pumped storage system built to power a mill in Walkerburn). The local economy was also supported by lemonade and mineral water factories, an engineering workshop and a print works. Material from the archives collected by Innerleithen Community Trust will be used to describe the rise and decline of these once thriving industries.

Ted McKie came to Innerleithen as a fourteen-year-old in 1959 and has lived there ever since. On leaving the army he took a “temporary” job as a postman with the Royal Mail based at Innerleithen Post Office, a job which he held until his retirement in 2010. Always interested in history, he completed a degree with the Open University before concentrating his researches into local (Innerleithen) history. He has published two small volumes on Innerleithen’s past. He is currently secretary of Innerleithen Civic Association and a founder member and treasurer of Innerleithen Community Trust.

Ross McGinn was born and raised in Innerleithen. After leaving Peebles High School a gap year extended to a 43-year job, with further education, in a research department at East of Scotland College of Agriculture, latterly Scottish Agricultural College. A period of 17 years as Chairman of Innerleithen Community Council ended in 2012. Ross has been chairman of Innerleithen Community Trust since 2004. He has also held positions as President of Innerleithen Opera and Vice-Chair of Innerleithen Civic Association, and has served as a member of Scottish Borders Childrens Panel. Ross loves to share, particularly with young people, the history and heritage of Innerleithen.