Joseph and the 80s
'In 1980 we were approached by Joseph and were very close with them, producing nearly all of the Joseph Tricot range. This was the period of our highest production. We were doing about 15,000 garments a season, with two seasons a year.
During this time we opened another factory unit in Stevenage that concentrated on finer knits. At the same time we were still producing schoolwear for Harrods and in particular Hill House School in Knightsbridge. We also produced officers sweaters for the Royal Artillery and the tank regiment, if they wanted something a bit different from the normal olive drab uniform. We also did sweaters for the Admiral's Cup teams; both the UK and the USA.
When Joseph was sold, production started to drop off. We were competing with the Far East. They (brands) weren't particularly interested in the hand framed knitwear that you see in the video. A lot of what we were doing was still on the hand framed machines. So for this season (winter 2010) we would have been manufacturing during the summer but they (Joseph) didn't order anything.'
Images (from top to bottom): inside the (now closed) factory, a Joseph Tricot fine knit (bound for the V&A) and two Stevenage Knitting Co. jumpers - Admiral's Cup (with red v-neck) and Royal Artillery (with epaulets)