Today’s item of the week is a long-lost letter that reveals another royal connection to a historic mill.
A LETTER found during the creation of new historical exhibits in a former woolen mill has revealed other royal links to the North East Exit.
Otterburn Mill shared their discovery in the week of Queen Elizabeth II’s 96th birthday.
The letter was found by going through the company’s extensive archives, in which countless objects and trinkets have been kept safe over the years.
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The original document was believed to have been lost – but during their work to furnish Rena’s newly refurbished country kitchen with historical artefacts, staff discovered it among the vast array of tweed samples, old documents and letters from when Otterburn Mill was a working mill.
The letter, dated July 3, 1923, was sent to thank Otterburn Mill for sending the length of the Otterburn Tweed suit to the Prince of Wales – the future King Edward VIII.
It is said that he was very pleased with it and even noticed the fine quality of the material that made the little mill so famous.
Otterburn Mill is aware of a second letter sent to confirm the Queen Mother’s selection of seven yards of material, to make kilts for Princesses Elizabeth – now Queen Elizabeth II – and Margaret.
Dated March 20, 1939, the letter also mentions a request for a second pattern to make a jacket and a skirt.
This letter remains lost, although the mill made a copy of it at the time – and with the discovery of its sister letter, the chances of the original resurfacing have increased dramatically.
These letters are not the only link between Otterburn Mill and the monarchy.
In 1926, Buckingham Palace requested a bespoke pram mat for Princess Elizabeth’s royal pram.
These rugs quickly became one of the factory’s most popular products, with demand quickly outstripping the small factory’s supply. Giving newborn babies an Otterburn pram mat has become a longstanding tradition that continues to this day.
* Otterburn Mill is proud of its royal heritage and is delighted to be able to announce that copies of both letters have been displayed in Rena’s Country Kitchen.
The cafe is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., seven days a week, where visitors can explore the company’s history over one of the cafe’s best-selling homemade sausage rolls or a delicious sweet treat.
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