Weaver given top award after four decades of service

Model Stella Tennant presents John Maisey with the Weavers Company Silver Medal at Saddlers Hall, London ANL-160404-164946001
Model Stella Tennant presents John Maisey with the Weavers Company Silver Medal at Saddlers Hall, London ANL-160404-164946001

A Sudbury weaver has revealed his shock after being awarded the highest honour at a prestigious awards ceremony.

At the recent and coveted Worshipful Company of Weavers Textile Awards John Maisey from Sudbury silk weavers Stephen Walters & Sons was presented with the Weaver Company’s top award, The Silver Medal.

Mr Maisey, who lives in Folley Road, Great Waldingfield, was given the award after devoting his time and energy throughout his career to keeping the technical achievements of production at the forefront of Walters manufacturing of silk fabric.

The 69-year-old revealed it was a surprise to be handed the honour.

“Once I got over the shock I realised how much of an honour it is,” he said.

“It’s a lifetime in what I’ve done and they’ve chosen to honour it which is great.”

John Maisey, who retired in 2012, joined the workforce at Walters in the early 1970s on the production floor as the firm installed its first rapier looms to replace its ageing shuttle-looms.

He admitted at first he did not see it as a career, simply wanting a job after giving up a job in London.

As a weaver John showed his skills being interested in the technical aspect of the new looms.

He quickly moved into loom tuning and tackling, and when the first computer driven card-less Jacquards were introduced John took on responsibilities, becoming the company’s head tackler.

With Walters’ success in high speed Jacquard weaving John moved from production to head the company’s technical management, over three factory sites.

John has most recently brought in a number of developments to bring the company’s production into the 21st Century.

He has now retired but his skills remain in demand and he continues to act as a consultant for the firm.

Julius Walters, managing director of the company, said: “I am pleased John’s achievements have been recognised with such a prestigious award.

“He has worked tirelessly throughout his long career at Stephen Walters, to continually innovate and bring about fundamental improvements that have kept us at the forefront of our industry.”