Kidderminster carpet weaver retires after 50 years at same firm

Kidderminster Shuttle: Fifty years: Front, from left, managing director Malcolm Foley and Derek Horton with staff at Grosvenor Wilton. Fifty years: Front, from left, managing director Malcolm Foley and Derek Horton with staff at Grosvenor Wilton.

A KIDDERMINSTER carpet weaver has retired after working for the same firm for 50 years.

Derek Horton, 65, started working for Grosvenor Wilton, based in Blakedown, at the age of 15 as an alterer.

He worked his way up to became a creeler and later a weaver from the age of 21.

Mr Horton said: “It has changed over the years. There’s less of it now and there’s not so many carpet factories. It’s a dying trade, there’s hardly anybody doing it.

“Some of the looms I worked on were over 100 years old. I enjoyed the job, we made carpet for all over the world.”

Mr Horton got into the firm as his mother Beatrice Horton, who died in August aged 100, used to work there.

One of his two daughters, Faye, 35, has followed him into the industry and is now a carpet designer.

He added: “It’s still hands on. The machines haven’t changed that much except now there are guards. When I first started there was nothing round the machines, health and safety has got better. It has been a good company to work for.”

Mr Horton said he would go out more now he was retired as he would not have to be at work for 6am.

Managing director Malcolm Foley said: “You can’t describe 50 years’ service. It’s a lifetime. Derek is a member of a unique club and these things will not happen again as jobs don’t last.

“There are the good times when work is secure and it is good to come to work and have mates.

“Derek is a skilled craftsman, a senior weaver, and is top of the pile, and he should take great satisfaction and comfort in having achieved this status.”

Comments (1)

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5:09pm Tue 3 Dec 13

nevets says...

Mr Horton is the type of person who should be on the new years honours list not like all these so called celebritys,sports people and MPs. If not his 50 years of hard work for the same company should be recognised by the local authority in some way.
Mr Horton is the type of person who should be on the new years honours list not like all these so called celebritys,sports people and MPs. If not his 50 years of hard work for the same company should be recognised by the local authority in some way. nevets

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