Stephen Walters and Sons in Sudbury named Family Business of the Year in east of England after marking 300th anniversary
A Sudbury firm, which remains dedicated to the silk weaving industry after successfully trading for three centuries, has won a prestigious award.
Stephen Walters and Sons was crowned Family Business of the Year in the east and East Anglia region in recognition of its continued accomplishments.
Hosted by Family Business United, a resource centre which offers support and advice to firms across the UK, this year’s annual awards ceremony was held via an online event.
The business has further reason to celebrate having recently marked its 300th anniversary.
Reflecting on the significant landmark, managing director Julius Walters said: “As we all know, any 300-year anniversary is a very special event.
“For a family-owned company, which is still trading and excelling at its original business, it is so rare that it is almost unique.”
“We should all celebrate this success, but also consider how this has been achieved.
“Of course, for any company to remain as a family business, there must always be the next generation to join the company.
“Each generation must overcome the challenges and recognise the opportunities for the business to ensure it remains sustainable.
“They must also understand that their hard work, the contribution they make and the decisions they take must be for the benefit of the business today and in the future.”
In 1720, Mr Walters’ ancestor, Benjamin Walters, established his own weaving business in London’s East End.
After relocating to Sudbury in 1860, the firm operated out of a factory in Acton Square, before moving to Sudbury Silk Mills in Cornard Road, a site in which it continues to produce high-end fabrics.
Highlighting the vital role of the whole team, Mr Walters added: “We are all the current generation – everything we do, every day becomes a part of our history; every obstacle overcome, every mistake learnt from, every improvement and achievement made.”
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