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Designs on tartan

Scotland's National Museum of Costume reopens to the public on April 1 after the winter break, with a new exhibition exploring the history of tartan and its enduring popularity.

Fabric of a Nation features a wide variety of tartan outfits, ranging from battledress to ballgowns and bondage trousers. Visitors will see how tartan has evolved from its use as everyday wear by Highlanders in the 18th century to 21st-century high fashion created by designers such as Hardy Amies, above.

Visitors can find out why tartan was banned in 1774, whether it helps present-day tourism and how they look in a kilt or an arisaid (the ladies'

traditional highland dress). Children can design their own tartan online by typing "create a tartan" into any internet search engine, which will direct them to the web page.

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Scotland will have a strong team at the British Schools' Cross-Country international in Dublin tomorrow. The event has been heavily dominated by England in the past and you have to go back to 1981 to find the last Scottish winner of a race (Colin Wallace). Ireland has had the odd success, but Scotland is more hopeful this year.

Chris O'Hare (Peebles High) and Beth Potter (Bearsden Academy) won their titles at the Scottish Power Scottish Schools' Champ-ionships at Irvine earlier this month. They are part of a 36-strong Scottish team for the adidas Mini London Marathon on April 22.

Athletes as young as 11 take part and Scotland will be represented by Alice Haining (Galashiels Acad-emy), who won the Under-14 title at the Scottish Schools' Cross-Country Championships and the Scottish Inter-District Champion-ships in Edinburgh, competing in the youngest age group.

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