|26 November 2015|

Scotland’s reputation as the land of invention is being celebrated at London’s Heathrow airport to mark St Andrews Day.

Tartan tags are being placed in areas across the airport that owe their existence to Scottish inventions. Runways are paved with tarmac, invented by McAdam, while Robert Watson-Watt developed the radar. The television and telephone were also invented by great Scots, John Logie-Baird and Alexander Graham-Bell.

And with 2015 Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink the country’s great produce is also being showcased this week with the airport’s Gordon Ramsay Plane Food restaurant serving up mouthwatering Scottish dishes including smoked salmon and sourdough, and Cranachan, both developed by the head chef Andrew Winstanley.

Glasgow-born and based textile artist and designer Jilli Blackwood, created the tartan that is adorning large swathes of London’s landmark travel hub.

She said: “It’s been really exciting working on this project with Heathrow. Being asked to work with the airport’s iconic colours was really quite challenging and forced me to think outside of the box. The final design is instantly recognisable to all as a tartan, yet one based on such bold and contemporary colours. It’s a brilliant symbol of Scotland and Heathrow’s relationship and has been used in some really interesting ways.”

Backing Heathrow’s initiative, Mike Cantley, chairman at Visit Scotland said: “Home to ground-breaking scientists, philosophers, engineers and architects for hundreds of years, Scotland’s creative and scientific minds continue to shape the modern world we live in today. It is wonderful that Heathrow Airport is honouring John McAdam in this unique way – naming a runway is a truly fitting tribute for the man who invented Tarmac. We are sure visitors to Heathrow will be delighted to revel in the airport’s Scottish takeover, sampling the delicious food and drink and admiring the bespoke tartan on show.

“In 2016, we will be shining a special spotlight on Scotland’s achievements during the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Hopefully many who experience the takeover at Heathrow will be inspired to make the trip north to discover more about our fascinating country – its history, landscapes, culture and fascinating pioneers.”