Haworth workforce heads north to celebrate milestone

Haworth workforce heads north to celebrate milestone

Wyedean Weavers' managing director Robin Wright is joined by workers Gwynnie Williamson, left, and Joanne Mitchell as they prepare for their trip to Edinburgh

Wyedean Weavers' managing director Robin Wright is joined by workers Gwynnie Williamson, left, and Joanne Mitchell as they prepare for their trip to Edinburgh

Wyedean Weavers' managing director Robin Wright is joined by workers Gwynnie Williamson, left, and Joanne Mitchell as they prepare for their trip to Edinburgh

Wyedean Weavers' managing director Robin Wright is joined by workers Gwynnie Williamson, left, and Joanne Mitchell as they prepare for their trip to Edinburgh

First published in Keighley by

A FAMILY company treated its workers to a weekend in Edinburgh – but there was no getting away from the firm's products!

Bosses of Wyedean Weaving celebrated half a century of manufacturing in Haworth by taking 17 staff – all but two of the total workforce – to the Scottish capital.

And wherever it went, the team – which is world famous for the uniform accessories it produces for the military and police forces – saw its skilled handiwork on show.

On Friday evening, the workers headed to the castle for the Military Tattoo, in which many of its products featured.

The following day they were given a guided tour of the city by an ex-Scottish Regiment soldier, who was wearing regalia manufactured by Wyedean.

And before heading home on Sunday they visited the Royal Yacht Britannia, whose ship's company was supplied with its insignia by the Bridgehouse Mill firm.

A special coach banner was produced to mark the milestone trip.

"We have done these weekend outings for all the staff about every fives years – last time we went to Dublin – but this year we wanted to do something a bit special with it being our 50th anniversary in Haworth," said managing director Robin Wright, whose father David founded Wyedean Weaving in April,1964.

"We've a contract with the Ministry of Defence to supply all the military accoutrement, ranging from braiding to sporrans, so we saw plenty of our products on show."

Robin – who joined the firm in 1979, and has been MD for over 20 years – said the company, like countless small operations, had faced many challenges.

But he said it could be proud of its achievements.

"We have always operated in a niche and specialist market," said the 54-year-old.

"The products we manufacture can be complex, involving various manufacturing techniques, often with very low production volumes.

"But as demand has persisted, Wyedean remoulded itself to service such needs.

"We outsource a lot now. We still have some manufacturing and do all the design development and special work here, however we make a labour intensive product – with considerable hand work involved – and to do all this in the UK is prohibitively expensive. Outsourcing has enabled us to broaden our range of products."

Earlier this year the company celebrated its half-century milestone with an open day at its premises, which included tours of the mill, photos of past events and staff, and a commemorative unveiling.

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