A Royal Visit by King George V and Queen Mary to the works of Prince Smith & Son in Keighley took place on Wednesday, 29th May 1918. The visit took in the Burlington Shed site (now the area largely occupied by Keighley’s Asda store).
There the Royal Party witnessed the manufacture of wool combing and worsted spinning machinery, vital to the thriving yarn industry of the West Riding, and the additional repurposing of some manufacturing to serve the war effort. They met management staff, veteran employees and women working on the munitions lines.
According to the account in a commemorative booklet produced shortly after the visit: “Her Majesty the Queen expressed pleasure and admiration at the sight of a large group of munition girls in their smart khaki-coloured uniforms, whilst a group of old employees, most of whom could claim from fifty to fifty-five years’ continuous service in the firm’s employ, excited the lively interest of Their Majesties, who graciously shook hands and spoke a few words to each of these faithful old servants.”
The four sets of photographs shown here are from the commemorative booklet which was printed by The Tillotson Press. Copies of the booklet are held in the Keighley and District Local History Society archive. The full booklet is available to view on the History Society’s Flickr site.