The following has appeared today, occupying a half-page in Scotland's "The Sunday Post" newspaper. With a sales of 1.5 million copies every Sunday, this paper has one of the world's largest circulations, so represents a little bit more publicity for us kilt-wearers.

Unfortunately, I cannot reproduce the layout as it appears in the paper. There is an on-line version but it is of news highlights from the print edition only. This then, is the full text.

Take care,

From: The Sunday Post - March 7, 2004

He has 32 kilts and not a single suit
Hamish, where's your troosers? By Kirsten Gray

The last time Hamish Bicknell donned a pair of trousers was more than four years ago. In fact, bizarrely, the retired businessman doesn't own any.

He prefers to wear the kilt. And while most men puzzle over which colour of shirt to wear each day, Hamish must choose which of his amazing collection of 32 kilts he'll put on.

His fascination with Scottish attire began when, as a 14-year-old schoolboy, he took up Scottish Highland and Country dancing. But it was only when he retired from his job as General and Export Manager of a prestigious perfumery business that he took the plunge and began wearing it full-time.

"I find the kilt more comfortable than trousers and began wearing it two or three times a week," explains Hamish. "I soon realised that as I didn't need to wear a pinstripe suit for work anymore, there was nothing stopping me wearing a kilt every day." So he began investing in a variety of styles.

Charity shop

"Once I reached the point where I could cope with any eventuality - from a funeral to a football match - I gave up trousers once and for all. My last suit went off to the charity shop three years ago. Now I don't own a single pair of trousers."

These days Hamish's collection contains everything from traditional tartan wool to camouflage cotton. He buys them not only from long-established kiltmakers, including Kinloch Anderson and Geoffrey (Tailor), but from the more contemporary 21st Century Kilts in Edinburgh, and US company Utilikilts.

"Utilikilts are becoming very popular. Because they're made of canvas or cotton you can wash them so they're okay, even to do the gardening in. Some have modesty snaps which allow you to snap the fabric between your legs if you're going up ladders or whatever."

Among his favourites are two imitation leather kilts. "They're warm in winter and cool in summer. I also have the very first solid leather Utilikilt to be made - it cost a fortune and weighs a ton, but it's glorious to wear."

While Hamish actively promotes kilt-wearing, there are occasions when, he admits, it can be unnerving. "All kilt wearers have experience of being attacked by wild females desperate to know what's underneath.

Female Horde

"In Brighton I was reading a menu in a restaurant window when a shrieking horde of females on a hen night grabbed me and lifted every inch of the kilt they could find!"

But while it may be the case that Hamish wears nothing under his kilt, you could hardly call him a true Scotsman.

His father's mother was from Sutherland, but Hamish, from Storrington in West Sussex, is a born and bred Englishman.

(Photo - Hamish resplendent in one of his 32 kilts)