Jock Hainsworth jetted into JFK International Airport last week for the start of the Campaign for Wool in Bryant Park in New York.
The replica guard, whose usual home is the reception at historic British textile mill Hainsworth, had to leave his famous Bearskin hat at home due to tight US import rules and switched instead into a Coldstream Guards’ cap.
Hainsworth, which holds a Royal Warrant, has been kitting out the British military since the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Its famous scarlet cloth can be seen on the Queen’s Guards outside Buckingham Palace and was worn by Prince William on his marriage to Kate Middleton.
Diane Simpson, Sales and Marketing Director of Leeds-based Hainsworth, said: ‘Jock’s normal home is in the Mill’s reception area where he greets visitors. He has been down to John Lewis in London before and over to Germany but it’s the first time he’s been to America.
‘He was shipped out in his full ceremonial Irish Guards military uniform and was due to wear his customary tall fur Bearskin but he would have needed an import licence which takes too long to acquire. So he had to switch to a Coldstream hat instead.’
Jock was invited to America by the British Wool Marketing Board to help them launch The Campaign For Wool. Launched three years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales, the campaign was set up to educate consumers about the benefits of wool and promote wool-predominant products to an international audience to help support and grow the wool industry.
It is the first time that the campaign has visited the United States and it launched last week in the heart of New York City with its own Wool Week. The famous Manhattan outdoor living space Bryant Park was turned into an interactive, woollen wonderland. Jock stood guard over a stunning installation of giant blue and green sheep, a wool water fountain and a flock of 30 sheep brought down from a farm in Upstate New York.
The Irish Guards, one of the regiments making up the Queen’s Guard, have had a distinguished history since their formation in 1900. During the First World War they fought at Ypres and Cambrai, while in the Second World War they saw action across Europe and North Africa. More recently, the Guards have seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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