Cumbernauld gardening group rubs shoulders with royalty

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Members of Hope Community Garden temporarily moved on from planting blooms to cultivating royalty at a special event last week.

For the group was among those invited to meet Princess Anne who pays an annual visit to Strathcarron Hospice.

The princess flew in by helicopter and was escorted by the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Stirling and Falkirk, James Parker.

Looking sharp in an aquamarine jacket, the Princess Royal mingled with some familiar faces from the Muirfield Centre based gardening project.

She stopped and chatted to project President Liz Graham her sister and treasurer Janice Crawford vice president Christine McNeil and secretary Ian Arthur.

All are volunteers at the Muirfield Centre.

Liz said: “It was a lovely day. Princess Anne is really down to earth.

“I have met her before at Strathcarron and have actually met Prince Charles and even Princess Diana as well.

“This time, we talked about a knitting project that was on display and Princess Anne said that she has done crochet and so has her mum.

“I just couldn’t believe it! She then met Ian and said she wouldn’t bother asking him if he did that because he’s a man! It was quite funny!’’

Meanwhile, it’s emerged that the group hasn’t been alone in encountering royalty of late.

Because representatives of the legendary Mackintosh firm in Blairlinn met Prince Charles and wife Camilla in the magnificent setting of Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

They were there as part of the Stitch in Time event which aimed to promote careers in Scotland’s fashion and textile industry.

Audience members, including 300 schoolchildren, saw how the rubberised raincoats are painstakingly put together for export to the Far East and other booming economies.

Cumbernauld man Willie Ross who is the production director sa,id: “We feel it is very important to support the skills and economy of Scotland.

“We’re committing to supporting the future of the industry and development of skills in the industry garment manufacturing industry.’’