Airing the Upper Hunter Tartan

Filed in Recent News by June 27, 2019

THE first kilts made from the new Upper Hunter Tartan will be aired next weekend at the Aberdeen Highland Games.

Read the Rick Wright poem about the kilt at the end of this story.

Charles Cooke, president of the Games said it was the perfect way to mark the 20th anniversary of the Games and leave a lasting legacy.

“The Upper Hunter tartan was registered in December last year and is number 12,320 on the register of tartans,” said Mr Cooke.

“We incorporated the whole of the Upper Hunter, including the Singleton, Muswellbrook and Upper Hunter Shires and the tartan was designed to bring all the threads of the area together,” he said.

“When we started we thought blue and green is probably the most popular in the tartan, so we started with a Campbell tartan, which ties into the Campbell and Co stores which were dotted around the Hunter Valley and I only found out after I’d done it that there was one in Gundy,I knew there had been one in Rouchel, but I was surprised there’d been one in Gundy too,” he said.

Blue also represents the Hunter and Goulburn Rivers; green the lucerne flats that support the equine, beef and dairy industries; purple the viticulture and the old dairy factory in Aberdeen where they used to make “Thistle Butter”; black for the coal industry; white for the dairy industry; yellow for the canola and wheat crops in Merriwa and red representing the blood of the light-horseman and their horses,” Charles Cooke said.

The wool for the Upper Hunter Tartan is made at Nundle and kilt maker in Queensland has the material for people to buy, or have a kilt made.

Next Saturday at the Games people can buy the material or order a kilt at the Merchandise Store.

The lighter weight wool is suitable for kilts, skirts, pants, jackets and ties will be available and a heavier wool can be used for shawls, rugs and scarves.



– By Rick B. Wright

The purpose of the fabric when all is said and done,

Is to get us all together and pull again as one.

Scots are tough and spartan, but they often strike a tartan

To celebrate a milestone of the time,

Families of pioneers who came out here to new frontiers,

With ambitious aspirations establishing the stations

Which then they handed down along the family line.


The UNDER CHECK is “Campbell” so the tartan that they wore,

Could well have been recycled from the famous Campbell store.

Every thread of every shawl whether big or even small,

Soon becomes a symbol of the land,

Every tartan length comes with unity and strength,

For those who came from Scotland and the clans.


A Tartan is protection, whether scarf or kilt or shawl,

Encompassing the region which covers one and all.

Muswellbrook and Rouchel, Scone and Aberdeen,

Merriwa and Denman all place in between.

One can tell, if woven well, protects against the whether,

The thistles, with their prickles that grow amongst the heather.

Water’s represented by the “aqua” colour, blue,

Without this precious liquid there is noting we can do.

We could not grow the crops or grass, the lucerne on the land,

Equine, dairy, beef or wool with Mother Nature’s hand.

The OVER CHECK breaks up the broad and makes the cloth distinct,

Just as long and just as strong, but clearer and succinct.


The white for all the dairy, the milk, the cheese and cream,

The black for all the holes of coal; the underlay in seams

The purple that is intertwined represents our precious wine,

And yellow, which is really bold, stands out for crops and clips of gold.


And then of course the colour red that represents the men who bled,

And died for us that we might live; the ultimate of gifts to give

So for our region we do not hide, wear this tartan and with pride.

Picture this as precious rope that binds together love and hope

Tartan weaved will last and last; those threads of colour will HOLD FAST.

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