A NEWLY refurbished café has been renamed in a tribute to a historic Borders family.

Otterburn Mill's café is now named 'Rena's Country Kitchen', in honour of Rena Waddell, the 5th generation Waddell to own and run the mill.

With the Waddell family at the helm, Otterburn Mill grew into a huge name in the textiles industry, reaching as far as Tokyo and Milan at the height of its success.

Each member of the family, who in total successfully led the business for over 150 years from 1821, brought innovation and expansion with them.

Rena Waddell, daughter of William IV, joined the business in 1936 after agreeing to hold the fort when an agent fell ill.

Taking control of the business' office for London Sales, Rena handled sales with such success that Otterburn Tweeds were featured on the covers of high fashion magazines including Vogue, and agencies were opened in Paris and New York to respond to the growing international demand for Otterburn Mill products.

Hexham Courant: Otterburn Mill's café includes historical displays.Otterburn Mill's café includes historical displays.

She became increasingly involved in the design of the tweeds under the guidance of her father William IV, heading the design and marketing.

Rena took a more prominent role in the business after her father's death in 1959 and full responsibility in 1966 after the death of the business partner.

After the Second World War, a lack of investment in modern textile machinery and systems meant that Otterburn Mill were still following old working methods.

This delay in modernisation meant that Otterburn Mill was eventually forced to close in 1976.

The machinery lay idle until Euan Pringle, a member of another famous family of Scottish woollen manufacturers from Inverness, bought the business and premises in 1995.

The café's recent refurbishment included redecorating in heritage colours, as well as the installation of industrial style lighting and new flooring. There are also new historical displays.

Hexham Courant: The newly refurbished café is now named 'Rena's Country Kitchen'.The newly refurbished café is now named 'Rena's Country Kitchen'.

Louise Shaw, marketing manager at Otterburn Mill, said: "We've spent the past few months selecting the very best historical pieces for visitors to enjoy.

"We even found orders from Buckingham Palace for materials for kilts to be made for the future Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, and measurements provided for the commission of a tweed suit for the future King Edward VIII, which is exciting."

Visitors can examine some of these artefacts on 'Rena’s desk', upon which tweed designs, photographs and letters concerning orders placed for fabric have been displayed.

The café is open from 9am to 4pm, seven days a week.