Norwegian Delegates Visit – 17th-19th September 2012

Will Hægeland from Selkirk’s County Hotel contacted Borders Journeys in early July requesting us to organise tours and transport for a group of Norwegian delegates visiting the Scottish Borders in September. Ian met with Morten Erichsen, owner of SMD Holding AS and leader of the delegation, and Will to establish the delegation’s requirements. SMD Holding AS has the exclusive right to distribute Lyle & Scott products in Norway. Products from Lyle & Scott Vintage range are currently sold in over 120 high fashion retails shops in Norway. SMD Holding AS’ largest client, Volt, have 26 stores throughout Norway; from 1st February to 1st July 2012 stores and individual staff competed on several business criteria for places on a trip to visit Lyle & Scott Mill in Hawick.

Based on Morten’s requirements, we designed and organised tours for two full days plus arranged to collect the delegates from the airport. Borders Journeys met the fifteen delegates at Edinburgh Airport on 17th September and transported them to their hotels at County Hotel and Best Western Philipburn Hotel in Selkirk. We currently have one minibus, therefore we hired a second minibus which was driven tonight by John Nichol. Colin Inglis drove the second minibus for us on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday morning started with us collecting the delegates from their hotels and transporting them to Hawick for their tour of Lyle & Scott’s Mill. The key objective of the mill tour was to better understand the heritage of the Lyle & Scott brand and see how their lambswool products are produced. Since most of the delegates had never visited Scotland before, the remainder of their trip was to experience as much of the country’s history and culture as possible. Following the mill tour we travelled to Jedburgh where the delegates visited Mary, Queen of Scots’ House then had a lovely traditional ‘pub lunch’ at the Carters Rest. On a beautiful afternoon our tour continued through stunning scenery to Kelso where everyone enjoyed shopping in the local independent shops. A Scottish themed dinner and entertainment, organised by the County Hotel, was a wonderful way to end the day.

Queen Mary’s House

Wednesday was an action packed day. The day started with us collecting the delegates at their hotels; they all looked great wearing kilts for the first time. Everyone was transported to Inchkeith Farm at Oxton where John, Lesley and Marc Wilkinson kindly hosted a Sheep Dog Trial and Mini Highland Games. The delegates were split into three teams then one person from each team was appointed to participate in the Sheep Dog Trial. John advised the participants how to command his Border Collie Fly to ensure that she gathered the sheep. All three did a great job commanding Fly and gathering the sheep. Next, everyone participated in the Mini Highland Games where there were tug of war and tossing the sheaf competitions. Thomas Holmen gave a well deserved vote of thanks to the Wilkinson family for arranging and hosting the event; especially to John for being the referee.

Fly waiting for her instructions

Lars gives Fly instructions while John looks on and offers guidance


Tug of war gets underway

Modern day Vikings in kilts!

Brie gets spoiled by Julia

The Lodge, Carfaemill served a lovely lunch of hearty soup and sandwiches to the hungry ‘Highland Games’ competitors. After a quick change out of their kilts, we were back on the road. Our next stop was Glenkinchie Distillery;here our guide Iain gave us an interesting tour of the distillery where we were guided through the whisky making process. At the end of the tour everyone was given a ‘dram’ Glenkinchie’s famous 12 year old single malt whisky. Afterwards there were several whiskies bought to ’export’ back to Norway!

With ‘Jeannie’ at The Lodge, Carfraemill

Glenkinchie Distillery

Leaving Glenkinchie, we travelled into Edinburgh. In Edinburgh we met Ross Tillbrook who we arranged to give a walking tour of the ‘Old Town’. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the tour and remarked that they’d learned so much history about Edinburgh in such a short time. Our final stop of the day was to take everyone to Edinburgh Airport for their flight back home to Oslo.

We thoroughly enjoyed organising the tour of the Scottish Borders and Edinburgh for the delegates; we hope that they enjoyed the trip as much as we did hosting them. Hopefully after their ‘taster’ visit to Scotland; it will encourage our new friends to visit us again.

More photographs can be found at Borders Journeys’ Facebook and Alwyn Johnston’s website.

Tug of War Videos One, Two, Three

Sheep Dog Trial Video Lars Svende

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