The Harris Tweed Authority (HTA) have gifted Stornoway Port Authority (SPA) a special birthday gift in the Port's 150th Anniversary year.

A Mark 1 Hattersley Loom, once the work horse of the Harris Tweed Industry has been prepared, preserved and gifted to the Port Authority to mark the role of the Port, particularly that of the harbour in the history of the Harris Tweed industry.  

This latest piece of community art joins other items gifted to or commissioned by the Port Authority, such as the Herring girls, wooden seals and the carved fisherman who now live in and around Stornoway harbour. 

The loom was previous operated by Mr Iain Macmillan of Upper Bayble and was gifted to the HTA by his family.

Working weaver Andrew Hammacott of Back re-assembled, painted  and preserved the loom back to its original splendour in a way that safely allows it to be accessible to the public.  

Chairman of the HTA, Norman L Macdonald said: "Stornoway Harbour was once a hub of the Harris Tweed industry. I remember, as a young boy, when wool bales were landed to number 1 pier before being uplifted and taken to the mills for processing into Harris Tweed cloth.

"Whilst things are done differently today, raw materials coming in to the island by sea and finished cloth going off island twice or three times weekly by sea is still a key feature of our unique industry. Check-in at Stornoway harbour is just the first port of call in usually long and complex export journeys.

"The HTA enjoy a good working relationship with SPA and in particular we are working closely with them to improve the experience of cruise ship guests to the town. We are very pleased also to be participating in the forthcoming British Ports Authority Conference being hosted in Stornoway by SPA. The Harris Tweed industry are keen to use this opportunity to network with some of the UK's largest shipping organisations, naval architects, interior designers etc. with the aim of their giving consideration to the use of Harris Tweed cloth in high quality ship and luxury yacht interior projects."

Mr Murdo Murray, Chairman of SPA added: "On behalf to the SPA I would like to thank the HTA for this most generous gift. The Hattersley loom is a fitting reminder of the long and productive association of the Stornoway Harbour with the Harris Tweed industry. I would take this opportunity to congratulate the HTA and all associated with the resurgence of the industry for their stalwart efforts in recent years and look forward to our continued association for the economic benefit of the wider community."

Pic shows Norman L. Macdonald and Murdo Murray with the loom.