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Industry Talk

BTMA stalwart bids adieu

Career in the textile industry spans a remarkable seven decades.

13th April 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Manchester, United Kingdom

Clothing/​Footwear, Industrial

Alan Little, association director of the British Textile Machinery Association (BTMA) for almost 20 years, is standing down at the age of 79.

During his tenure at the BTMA he has managed and directed the association, and also represented the industry at government level, undeterred by a either a major recession or the recent pandemic,

Educated at the University of Manchester’s Institute of Science and Technology as part of a university apprenticeship scheme in association with Mather and Platt of Manchester, Alan graduated in mechanical, electrical, process and marine engineering. His career in the textile industry spans a remarkable seven decades – with over 45 of those years spent in senior sales and marketing positions. Furthermore, he has organised participation and attended every ITMA-branded exhibition since 1965 in Basle.

He began full time employment at Mather & Platt in its textile machinery design and development department in 1960 and was responsible for the design of bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing machinery, as well as conducting technical audits at large textile complexes in North and Central Africa. By 1971, he was the company’s sales manager, responsible for textile machinery sales in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia, Asia Pacific, and China, and in 1982 became a founder member and director of Mather Machinery in charge of sales and marketing.

In 1989 Alan joined David Bentley as the sales and technical director responsible for the worldwide sales of calendar bowls and the development of specialised rollers for the textile, paper, steel and automotive industries. In 1989 he also joined the executive committee of the BTMA, eventually taking over as the association director in 2003.

“Alan leaves the BTMA in prime condition for its onward journey,” said Jason Kent, BTMA CEO. “He has worked tirelessly both on the world stage and behind the scenes to help promote and market BTMA members’ products and services. This has been on a day-to-day basis, as well as with a longer term strategy, such as organising much of the detail for many international trade exhibitions, seminars and missions.”

Alan says that he is not ready to retire completely and will see what the future brings. In the meantime he will spend more time with his wife Anne and also try and find time to get his golf handicap back down to a single digit…

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