Stars of stage, screen, music, sport and science to feature in Gala exhibition

The opening exhibit in the purpose-built Great Tapestry of Scotland visitor centre will feature the people’s story of Scotland through a series of quotes and images from over 40 national and local icons, pioneers and inspiring individuals.

Iconic Scotland will be the first in a series of visiting exhibits (three per year) to be housed in Gallery 1420, just beneath the main Great Tapestry of Scotland Gallery. Each of the visiting exhibits will continue the Tapestry’s own story, as told by 1,000 stitchers from across Scotland, showcasing some of the country’s greatest achievements. 

Those featuring in Iconic Scotland include Sir Walter Scott, Outlander star Sam Heughan, brewing science pioneer and human rights activist Sir Geoff Palmer, actress Joanna Lumley, Shetland author Ann Cleeves, rugby hero Doddie Weir, Gala’s own Chris Paterson, Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, NHS Borders Clinical Director Dr Jonathan Aldridge, Dalgetty Baker’s owner Craig Murray, Sinclair Duncan co-owner Debbie Paterson, Catherine Maxwell Stuart and sports broadcaster Jill Douglas.

Speaking of her involvement actress Joanna Lumley said: “I am delighted to feature in the Iconic Scotland exhibit to help inspire and uplift people following such a tough year.”

A number of those appearing in the exhibit originate from Galashiels including multi award winning theatre actor, best known for his role as Rupert Mackenzie in Outlander, Grant O’Rourke. Speaking about the significance of the new visitor centre to the area he said: “It makes me immensely proud that the people’s story of Scotland is being told in my hometown in this way. The spirit of the Borders and our whole nation is forged in our stories. Having a national cultural resource like this in Galashiels is a great way of connecting the people of the Borders to Scottish culture and hopefully connecting the people of Scotland (and further) to the Borders.”

For more information about the new visitor attraction visit

Sam Heughan Matt Sayles Headshot

5a Bank St, Galashiels, TD1 1EN

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