Merry Christmas from all at Wyedean We close on Wednesday 23rd December and reopen on Monday 4th January
Wyedean is known mostly for manufacturing accessories and accoutrements for the Armed Forces around the world. We are, occasionally asked to produce some specialist items too. The business once received an order from The Royal Jordanian Army which had a camel mounted ceremonial regiment. The order was for fringing to hang over the camels eyes, similar to false eyelashes. The purpose was to stop flies or sand irritating the camel’s eyes. Over the years the fringe has become more ornate for ceremonial purposes. We supply a wide range of headwear for use in many different applications; from the standard ceremonial peaked caps to cadet helmets and covers which we were commissioned to design, develop and test. We have also more recently manufactured the bespoke costume tea cup headwear for the famous Yorkshire Tea marching band. One of our newer products is the Kevlar webbing. This is a key component in protective, flame resistant clothing. The webbing is used by blue light services and is useful where protection is needed against physical, electrical, heat or chemical particulates. More recently our Kevlar webbing has been used in circus’s around the world on juggling sticks which are set alight. As Wyedean is known for the manufacture of braids and tapes, we were asked to produce thousands of meters of binding tape/ bandages for the film The Mummy. The bandages were soaked in tea to achieve the desired effect. As well as tape used in films, Wyedean has also made a jute webbing used to lower coffins into graves and also a saltpeter-dipped touch cord for firing antique cannon used in salutes. Wyedean’s skills are not just limited to military uniforms. A recent commission saw the company manufacture bespoke flying suits for a helicopter transport company. The business was also commissioned by one of Michael Jackson’s costumiers to manufacture a military type of cord/ frogging to be stitched on to one of his jackets. The costumier told us that the costume would also have cooling installed by way of thin tubes of chilled liquid circulating within to help keep him cool during his performance. Wyedean regularly take on bespoke commissions. Contact our sales team today to discuss your requirements.
On Sunday the 11th of November 2018 at 11am the country will fall silent to remember those who fought for our country. This year Armistice Day and Remembrance Day fall on the same day, sometimes this day is also known more informally as Poppy Day. Each year veterans participate in the Cenotaph March Past at the Parade in Whitehall. The red poppy has become the symbol for Remembrance Sunday with poppy wreaths being laid at cenotaphs all over the country to commemorate Britain’s war dead. In more recent years there has been an increased appearance of the white poppy, a pacifist symbol of remembrance. White poppies, according to the Peace Pledge Union (PPU) represent remembrance for all victims of war, commitment to peace and a challenge to the glamorisation of conflict. The white poppy was produced in 1933 by the Women’s Co-operative Guild to symbolise ‘no more war’ and represents all victims of all wars. The red poppy appeal is organised by the Royal British Legion (RBL) and specifically represents remembrance associated with the British Armed Forces. There has been a long standing opposition to the white poppy, with critics suggesting that it undermines the message of remembrance around Armistice Day. However, St John’s Ambulance has changed its dress code policy to allow volunteers to wear the white poppy as an alternative. During the war when the soil was churned up by endless fighting, poppies still managed to flourish leading the red poppy to become a symbol of remembrance of the First World War. The poppy is also seen as a symbol to honour the millions of current servicemen and women who fight in our Armed Forces. Charities such as Blesma The Limbless Veterans also provide support to amputees from the Armed Forces. They currently help 1873 amputees who lost limbs in the line of duty. Every year a member of Wyedean attends the local service in Haworth to lay a wreath to honour those who have fallen. Which service will you be attending this year? Will you hold a two minutes silence at 11am? Listen out on Sunday for the half muffled church bells. To make a donation to the Poppy Appeal visit the British Legion website here: http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/
War memorial almost lost forever as wartime researchers struggle to find it a new home. The Roll of Honour was originally displayed at the Woodlands Lodge, Haworth, No185 (N) of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society for their fallen and served members in the Great War of 1914-1919. The memorial is a rectangular wooden board which has supporting pillars and a cornice. The Coat of Arms is at the top with the names of those who fell listed below it. The inscription reads “1914 Roll of Honour 1919/ Amicita Amor Et Veritas/ Members who have made the/ Supreme sacrifice.” Listed are the names of the 83 who served, 10 of whom sadly died and 73 who returned. The Regiments and Corps named on the Roll of Honour are listed below; - Army Ordinance Corps (AOC) - Army Service Corps (ASC) - Army Service Corps (motor transport) (ASC (mt)) - Coldstream Guards (CG) - Duke of Wellingtons (West Riding Regiment) (D of W (WR)) - Durham Light Infantry (DLI) - East Lancashire Regiment (EL) - East Yorkshire Regiment (EY) - King’s Liverpool Regiment (KL) - Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) - Labour Corps (Lab C) - Machine Gun Corps (MGC) - North Staffordshire Regiment (N. Staff) - Northumberland Fusiliers (NF) - Royal Air Force (RAF) - Royal Engineers (RE) - Royal Engineers Signals (RE Signals) - Royal Field Artillery (RFA) - Royal Garrison Artillery (RGA) - Royal Highlanders (Black Watch) (BW (RH)) - Royal Scot’s Fusiliers (RSF) - Royal Scots (RS) - Royal Warwickshire Regiment (RW) - South Staffordshire Regiment (S. Staff) - The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (SR) - West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales Own) (WY) - York and Lancaster Regiment (Y&L) - Yorkshire Hussars (YH) Measuring 2.2x2m finding a new home for the war memorial was not an easy task, including its relocation by which it was proudly carried down the main street to its new location as the van was too small. Transferred by The Men of Worth Project C.I.C. into the custodianship of The Wyedean Weaving Co. Ltd, who together with the War Memorials Trust jointly funded its repair and conservation. As suppliers of ceremonial parade wear and accoutrement to the UK Ministry of Defence, Wyedean is a perfect choice, also allowing it to stay in its hometown Haworth. Even though the Roll of Honour’s new location is only a few hundred yards away from its original site, it was Crest Regalia, a long term customer of Wyedean’s based on the Isle of Wight that read Men of Worth’s blog seeking a new home for the memorial and put Wyedean and Men of Worth in touch. Without this intervention the Roll of Honour may well have been lost, along with many other war memorials which cannot be rehoused and end up being discarded, lost, unloved or broken. Several of the family names listed on the Roll of Honour will be recognisable to many in the Keighley and the Worth Valley area. It is a tremendous memorial full of history, [...]
Dalton Barton & Co was a textile manufacturing company founded near Coventry on the 16th of January 1852. The name Dalton and Barton corresponded with that of its two founding weavers: Robert Arnold Dalton and George Samuel Barton. Robert Dalton was born in 1825, the son of a plumber and glazier, but at the age of 14 he started a 7-year apprenticeship with William and John Sargent, who were ribbon makers in Coventry. In 1847 he became a ribbon manufacturer. Later in life he was elected an alderman and mayor of the city. Little is known of George Barton, only that he was a year younger than Robert Dalton. It wasn’t until 29th May 1872 that the company became a limited company. Dalton Barton & Co Ltd had an incorporated number of 6313, meaning that there were only 6312 incorporated companies before it so it was one of the first few. The company flourished and extended its range from ribbon making to narrow fabrics, braids, upholstery trimmings, uniform regalia and lanyards. The Company had a huge boost when it received the contract to produce Australian moquette tape used in railway carriages. Both the Coventry factory and its London marketing company continued to prosper and they became one of the largest haberdashery wholesalers in the world. In 1940 during WWII disaster struck when an air raid destroyed the whole Coventry factory. By this time the factory had focused all of its efforts on military narrow fabrics such a chevron lace, medal ribbon and parachute harnesses etc. This meant it was able to obtain Government funding to build a new factory on Mason Road, Coventry. As the war progressed, sourcing the pure silk for the weaving of medal ribbons became increasingly difficult. Nylon was suggested as an alternative - at the time it was a newly-developed material. King George VI refused stating that his award medals were for superior acts of gallantry which would be manufactured from only the finest materials. David Wright, father of Robin Wright, the present owner, joined the company in 1959. He had no experience of narrow fabrics but was skilled in textile manufacturing management and design. He joined the company and moved the factory near the river Wye in Gloucester, which is close to the Forest of Dean. David then renamed the company Wyedean Weaving. In 1964 a severance was proposed by Dalton Barton and its subsidiary Wyedean Weaving. David Wright struck a deal to transfer all of the haberdashery production looms, in exchange for him being allowed to purchase the military production machinery. Wyedean Weaving was relocated to Haworth, West Yorkshire where David grew up and focused its energies on uniform accoutrement such as sergeant sashes, chevrons, RAF rank braid and naval collar tape which was mainly sold to customers such as the Ministry of Defence. To view our range of narrow fabrics click here.
Merry Christmas from all of the team at Wyedean This year, instead of sending Christmas cards the company made a donation to our nominated charity: Airedale Hospital Neo-Natal Clinic. To read more about the unit click here. We close for Christmas on Friday 22nd December and will reopen on Tuesday the 2nd January.
Sprang is an ancient method of constructing fabric that gives it an appearance similar to netting so that it has natural elasticity. Sprang, unlike netting, however, is constructed from entirely warp threads. The sprang structure is close to a Leno weave but without the weft so that it is inherently flexible. Although examples of sprang can be seen back in the Bronze Age, there were no written records until the late nineteenth century. These days knitting has taken over sprang constructions, however, there are many examples in museums of product woven in a sprang construction which is often misidentified as knitted. Wyedean possesses a sprang fabric hand loom, which, to the best of our knowledge is one of only two in existence, the other we understand is in London owned by the Royal School of Needlework. Our loom hasn’t been used for many years and was last used in the 1980s to manufacture British Army Generals Guards Full Dress and Undress waist sash ribbons, also for Scottish Regiment Officers’ shoulder sash, all woven in pure silk and 2% gold threads. Unfortunately, these products were converted over to power loom production using synthetic threads in the late 1980s as a cost saving measure. To view our range of sashes click here.
The Wyedean Weaving Company established itself in Haworth in 1964 as a manufacturer of narrow fabrics, braid and uniform accoutrement. The business originated in Coventry around 1850 and was previously known as Dalton, Barton and Co Ltd. During WWII, the main factory in Coventry was completely destroyed during the Blitz in 1941. The company’s East End London warehouse and store in Jewin Street London were also later destroyed. For this reason the company possesses no artefacts or records dating from before the Blitz, nor evidence of this difficult time in the Company’s history…that is until recently when the letter shown below came to light from one of Dalton Barton’s war-time customers. Gary Smith is the current owner of fourth-generation upholsterers JE Smith and Son, and he tracked Wyedean down when he found the letter from Dalton, Barton hidden away in the company’s workshop. Gary’s grandfather purchased webbing from Dalton, Barton during the war and his company manufactured sewing bags for gas masks. JE Smith and Son is approaching its 100th year in business and these days focuses on high quality upholstery work. The company recently helped manufacture a bespoke chair called the Windsor Castle chair designed by Shaun Brownell from RhubarbLondon. The chair imitates the scarlet woollen ceremonial uniform of the Irish Guards and is replete with detailed buttons, buckles and accoutrement, which coincidently Wyedean manufactures and supplies to all the Guard’s regiments. To view Wyedean’s range of ceremonial regalia and accoutrement items click here.
Wyedean was formally founded on 7th April, 1964, by David Wright. Before starting his own business, David’s first job after leaving school was as an apprentice textile designer at Bridgehouse mill. Little did he know that 34 years later he would purchase the very same building. At the age of 18 and at the outbreak of the Second World War, David volunteered for the Royal Navy, specifically The Fleet Air Arm. After pilot training in Canada he qualified as a commissioned Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve fighter pilot and served with the now- Legendary Catapult Aircraft Merchant ships NAS (Naval Air Station). 804 Sailing from Belfast in 1941. This squadron provided Air reconnaissance from mid Atlantic to the Western approaches, in trying to protect the British desperately needed convoys from submarine attacks, which were being alerted by the long range German Focke Wulf Condors and causing terrible shipping losses. The Hurricane fighters would have been rocketed fromthe converted Merchant ships to engage in combat with the Condors. The successful or wounded aircraft would ditch in the sea, mostly too far from land. The Hurricane pilot had three minutes to get out before the plane sank, and he would hope to be rescued and not always, before hypothermia killed him. David survived many rocket launches, later becoming C.O. of NAS 702 for a time. During his later pilot career, in 1942-1943 he served in the Aircraft Carrier Formidable in 893 during the Mediterranean invasions of North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Wyedean was established in 1964 as a manufacturer of braid and uniform accoutrement. Previously the business was known as Dalton Barton. David joined Dalton Barton in 1959 and was taken on to introduce new blood to the company, to take a hard look at the firm and to move the business away from Coventry as it was proving increasingly difficult to compete for labour with the booming motor industry. New premises were found at Coleford between the River Wye and the Forest of Dean – which eventually inspired a new name: Wyedean Weaving. In 1964, David bought from Dalton Barton the military side of the business manufacturing narrow fabrics and military ceremonial products. This decision started the process of turning Wyedean Weaving into the business it is today. He set out purchasing the appropriate machinery and moving the business to Haworth. From the early days of the business, David’s father, Frank Wright M.B.E. served as company director until his death in 1975. Frank was a textile machine designer who worked at Keighley’s Prince, Smith and Stell for over 40 years. He was awarded the M.B.E. in recognition of his inventing an entirely new yarn spinning technique called centrifugal spinning. Norma, David’s wife, has also been involved in the business for the last 50 years, serving first as Company Secretary and currently as Chairman. In fact, since 1964 there have been four generations of the Wright family working in the mill with three still actively involved. In his younger days, David enjoyed stunt [...]
The annual Haworth 1940s weekend this year took place between Friday the 19th of May and Sunday the 21st of May. This famous annual event sees Haworth transformed into a traditional World War II version of itself with locals and visitors dressing in 1940s attire to celebrate and commemorate the war, but to also help raise money for Armed Forces and local charities. This year’s chosen charity was the Pilgrim Bandits Charity, which was formed by veterans of the Special Forces in order to inspire wounded soldiers to live life to its fullest, in spite of often dreadful injuries. To date, the 1940s weekend has raised almost £100,000 for charities. 2016’s focus was on the strategic importance of the airborne forces, while 2017’s theme was on the contribution made by Special Forces. The 1940s weekend attracts over 25,000 visitors a day but this year, however, due to the wet weather, the footfall on Saturday was significantly reduced. 2017 is the final year that Wyedean will be able to open up its carpark for the weekend due to forthcoming developments but many thanks go to Skipton Properties and Airedale Springs who allowed the use of a huge space in front and behind the mill. This year Wyedean volunteers and friends of Wyedean managed to park over 975 cars across the two days and raised £5,675 for the Pilgrim Bandits and other local charities. £800 of the total amount was from the selling of programmes, while on Sunday the carpark was full to capacity and we had to turn people away. Well done to all who helped to make this year’s 1940s Weekend a huge success. Visit our store to buy your military accessories ready for next year.