It was a royal occasion to remember for Batley textile firm Joshua Ellis when Princess Anne visited as part of the company’s 250th anniversary on Thursday.
Her Royal Highness was given a tour of the firm’s offices and workfloor, which produces quality cashmere material which is shipped around the world.
She also unveiled a special plaque and spoke of her gratitude for the visit and said that the firm’s longevity can be foundation for more success over the next century.
Joshua Ellis’ managing director Jayne Woodthorpe welcomed the Royal Princess was
She said: “It’s been an honour for the Princess to come here.”
“The staff have put a lot of effort in and it’s a remarkable achievement for everyone involved.
“She was very knowledgeable and interested in the skills that are required and the machines that we use here.
“We’re the unsung heroes behind many brands.
“High-end brand designs from around the world are the talk of the catwalks, but it’s our cloth that fabric at the heart of it.”
Kristie Reeves, the company’s design director, was also on the tour.
She said: “We still provide the top fashion houses around the world with luxurious fabrics and scarves.
“We showed her royal highness through the entire production process during her visit.
“We had two groups we introduced her to; the apprentices, of which we have three, and then a group of seven of our longest-serving employees who have been with us for a total of 250 years.”
Ian Ward is one of the longest serving employees.
He started out on the shop floor 32 years ago, when the company was based at Batley Carr, and eventually progressed to finishing manager - a role he has held ever since.
The 62-year-old said: “She made us feel at ease.
“I was quite nervous about meeting her but it was a pleasure, and I’m very proud to work for Joshua Ellis.
“From starting from scratch to the end product, it gives me great satisfaction to do what I do.”
Upon her departure, HRH was presented with a limited edition, fine cashmere scarf in celebration of the anniversary.
Ms Woodthorpe added: “It is a limited edition design and she seemed very happy with it and hopefully she looks forward to wearing it.”