When Christine Wilkinson was told she had been made a MBE for services to the textile industry and was to meet Prince Charles she knew she had to look her best.
And after the initial shock had worn off she decided that she had to represent the industry with which she had been so passionately involved, all her working life.
So the first woman president of Huddersfield Textile Society in its 120-year history got her well-worn contacts book out and started to make a few calls.
Thankfully, everyone she rang was only too anxious to help.
One of her ex students, Chris Antich, managing director of Bradley-based C&J Antich and Sons Ltd, weavers and men’s apparel manufacturers, agreed to make her the most prestigious, superfine merino worsted fabric imaginable, with his Signature Selvedge, ( a self-finished edge of fabric).
WT Johnson and Sons, finished the fabric with a luxurious, crushed, truly feminising effect.
And Margaret Lambert, an ex-colleague at the University of Huddersfield, tailored it, exposing the ‘Made in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, by C&J Antich and Sons’ selvedge into a beautifully understated elegant ensemble.
Finally a lovely touch was added in a matching Pill-box hat made by Elizabeth Gales, in Kirkburton.
A modest Mrs Wilkinson joked: “As the investiture was so close to Christmas I had the dubious distinction of being the last female to be presented in the 2015 awards, from the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.”
Prince Charles presented her with the MBE and chatted to her about his work with the Campaign for Wool which he spearheaded to great effect for our local industry and with which he is still very much involved.
A well-known figures in the field of textile technology, Christine is an associate of the Textile Institute, a chartered Textile Technologist and holds a Master of Philosophy degree in Textiles.
She was a lecturer in textile technology at Huddersfield Polytechnic where she later became acting head of the Department of Textile Industries.