Keith Wear

Retired textile executive, Keith Wear, studied Textiles from 1951 to 1958. In1959 he became a part time lecturer in Textiles. He was made an Honorary Fellow of Bradford College in 1986.

Keith WearKeith first came to the College in 1951 to study Textiles. He continued these studies until 1958 when in his final year at the College he was awarded 2 prizes for yarn and cloth design in the International competitions of The Textile Institute and one prize from the Bradford Textile Society. Shortly afterwards Keith was appointed as a part-time Lecturer in the Textile Department.

In 1960 Keith qualified as a Charted Textile Technologist and Associate of The Textile Institute. Keith’s career in the Bradford worsted spinning and manufacturing trade flourished, becoming the Managing Director of 3 textile manufacturing companies followed by appointment as Managing Director of Robert Hirst & Co Ltd, the large clothing group within Carrington Viyella Plc and then to Parkland Group as Managing Director of their clothing manufacturing division, Maitland Menswear Ltd.

Throughout his career links with the College remained important. He joined the College Textile Advisory Committee, and shortly afterwards became Chairman, a role he held for many years. College rules changed so that to be Chairman you also had to be a College governor. So due to heavy business commitments Keith had to stand down but was able to remain Deputy Chairman.

“Shortly afterwards, I was appointed Chairman of a group set-up to examine the present equipment in the Textile Department and recommend disposals and acquisitions to progress the facilities for teaching modern techniques. The
sub committee report was adopted. When the Principal advised that no funds were available for acquisition of new equipment I proposed an appeal be made. This appeal launched by the Lord Mayor with Mr Roy Stroud as Chairman,
raised £75,000 in cash or equipment and machinery donations from industry.”

In 1986 Keith received a much deserved accolade for all his hard work and fund raising. At the College Award Ceremony held on 12th December 1986 he received an Honorary Fellowship. Keith encouraged fellow businessmen to cooperate with the College and for many years supported the Textile department through its highs and lows. Keith is now enjoying retirement in North Lincolnshire but keeps in touch with many former colleagues and friends in the industry.

Photograph supplied by Keith Wear