Doris’s Royal encounter

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Submitted by Steve Flint of Wirksworth, this picture was taken at John Smedley Ltd’s Lea Mills in 1962, when his aunty, Doris Walker met Queen Elizabeth.

Doris was a departmental manager at Lea Mills over the women’s section.

She was born in 1900 and passed away two weeks short of her 100th birthday in 2000.

She had started work at Lea Mills at the age of 14 at the start of World War I, when part of the factory was turned over to making army uniforms.

Managing director of the company, John Marsden-Smedley, even paid for Doris to attend Nottingham University where she studied lace design and business management.

She eventually returned to Lea Mills as an overseer.

She even helped bring ladies who had opposed the Nazi regime, over from Germany in 1939, who were then given employment at Lea Mills for the duration of the war.

Doris resumed employment at Lea Mills after the war had ended.