I once saw a bride having her photograph taken in the Botanic Gardens in Glasgow. One half of her dress – the “skirt” part – was beautiful: off-white, diaphanous layers of silk. But the top half, oh, the top half … well, it was a cherry-red tartan bodice. And when she turned round, I discovered it had a huge green tartan bow at the back.
Yikes. Don’t get me wrong, she was beautiful – all brides are beautiful, are they not? – but, in my opinion, this dress was the epitome of what not to wear.
The road to the MYB Textiles factory, in Newmilns, Ayrshire, is lined with derelict buildings – former factories that once represented a thriving machine lace and madras cotton industry in this, the Irvine Valley.