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Deirdre Loryman, MGC 1956 Leaver

Malvern Alumnae 100 Deirdre Kinloch-Anderson

I left Malvern Girls College in 1956 when I was 17. I was studying for my A Levels but was finding Botany and Zoology “limited” and wanted to “broaden my horizons”. I left in Lower 6 and went on to a year’s course for overseas students at L’Universite Grenoble after which I went to St Andrews University, graduating with an MA in French and Spanish.

I married immediately after graduation.  My husband was the fifth generation in his clothing and textile company in Edinburgh, whilst my commitment centred around the welfare of our family of three children.  Our lifestyle roles were complementary but very different.  There was a lot of travel to be encompassed in those days.  When the family had grown up, I then joined Kinloch Anderson Limited as “leaflet delivery girl”.  I was 50!  I was fully committed to the workplace but determined that promotion would come by merit and not through privilege.  Opportunities to take responsibility came my way, not only in the company but also with the Leith Chamber of Commerce, Queen Margaret University College, The Institute of Management, The RSA and the Merchant Company of the City of Edinburgh.  In 1999 I was elected as the first lady member of The Society of High Constables of the City Edinburgh since its foundation in 1611.

I have taken leading management positions in our Company with the Retail Shop Employment, the Corporate Division for the Design and Development of Exclusive Tartans and for the Development of the Kinloch Anderson Brand overseas.  I host group visits, I speak about tartan and Highland Dress and/or Family Business both within and outwith our premises in Leith, Edinburgh.

Tartan is one of Scotland’s great icons of identity and an expertise in which our company is renowned.  In January 2010 I was awarded an OBE for services to the textile industry following the establishment of the Scottish Register of Tartans within The National Archives of Scotland, thereby safeguarding Scotland’s Tartan Heritage in perpetuity within the public domain.

 What does success look like?

In the lives of most people there is some bad luck and some good luck.  Success is all about making sure you recognise and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way but kindness, generosity and selflessness are equally important.

What is your best piece of advice? 

It is not what you know but what you do with what you know that really matters most of all.  The difference between a person and a special person is that extra thought, courtesy and expression of thanks.