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George Hope Tait

Date and place of birth: Innerleithen, 1861 

A prominent amateur painter and a discerning patron of the arts, George Hope Tait spent most of his life in Galashiels where his influence on architecture, heritage and civic legacy was extensive.

Hope Tait was deeply influenced by the local area and developed a great interest in Borders history and its interpretation in literature and art.

He was a skilled watercolourist, especially of Border landscapes, an excellent graphic designer and a poet.

Hope Tait entered Galashiels Town Council in 1913 and served on it for over 29 years. He was closely identified with the constitution of the Braw Lads’ Gathering in 1930, the erection of the War Memorial and the new Burgh Chambers. He was also responsible for redesigning Galashiels’ town crest.

Hope Tait – who also designed the original Burgh Arms of Innerleithen – was listed in the Who’s Who of the 1920s, 30s and 40s for his contribution to art, architecture, journalism, authorship and promotion of Borders traditions.

Image credit: “Storks Dressed as Guards” – Watercolour on paper by Geroge Hope Tait, c1900. Via the Wellcome Collection.

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