A Message from Bill Skidmore

Published: 17th October 2012

Dear Members

It does not seem all that long since we held the AGM and our Annual Dinner. Firstly, if you were able to attend the dinner, I hope you enjoyed the venue, meal and enjoyed meeting up with friends and colleagues. I was very pleased to announce that Chris Wilkinson has accepted the position of Senior Vice President. Also, we had better numbers attending the dinner than in recent years. I would like to thank individual and company members for their support.

There are some slight changes to the programme schedule this year; we will be having two meetings in October and not having one in January. The committee took this decision based on the last few years of low attendance, possibly due to being near Christmas and inclement weather. It is not acceptable to ask speakers to travel long distances and have an audience of less than twenty.

We start this year on Monday October 3rd with a talk from Jo Dawson, CEO of H. Dawson (Wool) Bradford; title “Wool, probably the best fibre in the world”. Jo is a young and dynamic CEO and follows in the tradition of the Dawson family by being passionate about wool fibre and its many attributes; one of the oldest used fibres but, with up to date applications.

This is followed, on Monday October 31st, by presentations from Bill Macbeth, MD of the Textile Centre of Excellence and Graham Downill, MD from Attiger, Birkenhead, title “The Textile Innovation”. This is a chance to see all the new technology the centre has installed in the last few months and what it is capable of doing. For anyone involved in textiles, yarn, fabric and finishing, this is not to be missed.

The November meeting is a joint society event at the Bradford Club. This is Monday November 14th a lecture by Linda Watson, an author who writes for Vogue Fashion magazine, title “Fashion – Back to the Future”

In December (5th), Richard Ashworth from the SDC Colour Experience will give us a presentation. This really tests the way we see things, many people ‘see’ but don’t look. It is all in the title “Can you believe your eyes?”

Sylvia Ayton MBE, will give the February 13th 2012 lecture, “A Love Hate Relationship with Couture”. Sylvia was awarded her MBE in 1990 for services to fashion. She is Chairman of The Costume Society, an External Examiner and has been in the industry over fifty years since graduating from the Royal College of Art. It was once said of her, “she is one of the most important designers you've never heard of”. For quarter of a century she set the style of Wallis clothes and that influenced thousands of women.

A joint meeting at Bradford on Tuesday March 13th, the talk is given by James Laxton, MD of Laxton's titled “The First New Worsted Spinning Mill for over a Generation”.

The day after, on Wednesday March 14th, we are privileged to be the guests of Camira Fabrics. The visit will commence at Hopton Mills, Mirfield at 10:30 a.m. We will be given a presentation by Cheryl Kindness, Design and Development Director; light refreshments will be served before transferring to Meltham to look at the production side.

April will see both the AGM and The Annual Dinner and Prize Giving on Monday 16th and Thursday 26th respectively.

I hope both individual and company members will continue to support the events. It has been stated before, it is your society and cannot exist without the membership. We are here to help and support the industry often getting request from organizations and companies outside our membership for help, advice and comment.

I am now entering my last (hopefully) term of Presidency, one which has lasted for four years. The last President to serve four years was back in the 1920’s. I hope I have done justice to the position. I have certainly enjoyed the members whom I have come into contact with and would like to thank them along with Past Presidents and all who have served on the different committees. Please continue your support for the society and especially support and encourage the younger members in whom the future of our industry lies.

I look forward to greeting as many of you as can attend at our forth coming meetings this coming season.

Yours sincerely
Bill Skidmore