My Yorkshire: Adam Hainsworth, director of west Leeds textile firm AW Hainsworth

Adam, 56, is a director of Stanningley-based textile firm AW Hainsworth, whose cloth was used to make the British Army's red uniforms at Waterloo in 1815 and today is worn by Princes William and Harry at royal weddings.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 29th September 2018, 6:15 am
The stepping Stones at Bolton Abbey. PIC: Simon Hulme
The stepping Stones at Bolton Abbey. PIC: Simon Hulme

What is your first Yorkshire memory? We lived at the top of Farsley and I remember I’d come to the mill with my father on a Saturday morning, which was a working day.

There’d be rolls of cloth around the place.

Adam Hainsworth.

What is your favourite part of Yorkshire and why?

There’s nothing nicer than going to Bolton Abbey for a walk and then going for a pint afterwards. I also like fresh water swimming, so after a walk in the summer, it’s invigorating to go for a swim in the Wharfe.

What is it about Yorkshire that gives it its unique identity?

It’s the people. I find that Yorkshire people are down to earth and have no sort of edge. That’s one of the reasons why I like Bradford because the city doesn’t pretend to be anything. You see the historic buildings in Bradford and you can see what it was like, but it has changed enormously.

Who is the Yorkshire person you admire the most?

Probably my dad, John. He had a huge influence in bringing us up and allowed us to make our own way in life.

Do you have a favourite view, or walk, in Yorkshire?

I like walking around Denton, the other side of Ilkley. As regards views, where we live in Calverley I like going up to Woodhall and seeing the view by the golf course. On Bonfire Night, you can see all the fireworks going off over the valley to Horsforth.

Do you have a favourite pub or restaurant?

We like the Calverley Arms and the Thornhill. When it comes to restaurants, I like Indian food and recently I was taken to a new restaurant on Bowland Street, in Bradford, called Pind. I am a typical Yorkshireman – food has to be good, but not overpriced.

Is there a well-known Yorkshire person whom you would like to take out to lunch?

I am not really into celebrities and as regards sport, I prefer to do, rather than watch. So over lunch I would sound off to a politician about the problems we are going to face as an economy.

And what about taking a Yorkshire public figure to dinner?

I think that would be the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. I’d talk to him about economics because as a country we have lost sight of wealth creation and this is a key factor. The Archbishop has spiritual influence and he also sits in the House of Lords.

How has Yorkshire changed since you have known it, for the better or for the worse? It’s changed for the better. We are very multicultural – just go into Leeds. I think the divide between the haves and the have-nots is still there in Yorkshire, but I don’t think it’s quite as obvious.

If you had a hidden Yorkshire gem, where and what would it be?

If there were a hidden gem I wouldn’t want to tell anyone about it because I quite like isolation, but I worship at the parish church in Calverley, St Wilfrid’s, which goes back to 1154. I go there on Sunday mornings and enjoy the peace and quiet. Some of my relatives are buried there. It’s a big site, so we’ve got goats to keep it trimmed. The view from St Wilfrid’s over to Horsforth is lovely.

How fond are you of the Yorkshire coast?

We love it and we tend to go to Whitby and Sandsend. We’ve had holidays there in bed and breakfasts. I like running down into the sea for a swim first thing in the morning.

Do you have a favourite food shop in Yorkshire?

I’ve been shopping for more than 20 years at John Hutchinson’s, the butcher in Bradford Market. His beef and sausages are excellent.

If you had to change one thing, in or about Yorkshire, what would it be? I’d like to see the prosperity that Leeds enjoys shared about. For example, Bradford is far less well off than Leeds and this needs to be tackled.

How has Yorkshire influenced your work? I’m very conscious of the history of the textile industry in Yorkshire, which is still known throughout the world. We should make more noise about it. In business, I’m very aware of Yorkshire values. We just get on with things and we are practical and pragmatic people. If you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves is an attitude I support.

Can you name your favourite Yorkshire book, author or CD performer?

I like James Herriot’s books and stories about his life as a vet. His humour is down to earth and his characters call a spade a spade. Regarding music, I enjoy singing hymns in church and particularly like Handel’s Messiah sung by the Huddersfield Choral Society.

If a stranger came to Yorkshire and you had time to take that person to one place only, where would that be?

If they like the outdoors, I would take them to the unspoilt countryside, so that would be Bolton Abbey. But if they like history, Bradford has got an awful lot as well as the story of textiles and what happens with industrialisation.