6th April 1940

Mr & Mrs S.A. Courtauld came in today to see the Art Exhibition. As Courtauld’s are renowned the world over for their silks, I showed him all we had in that line, especially the Coggeshall [silk] loom, and mentioned that Warner’s [Silk Mills in Braintree] had put it up for us, and that they had several similar looms, old winders and warping-mills still in use. “Ah, yes” said Courtauld. “I believe they are a very old fashioned firm, but I have never been inside their place.” What an incredible picture! In a little town like Braintree, two old firms dealing with different aspects of the same business, yet Courtauld had never even condescended to visit his rival, who makes the King’s Coronation Robes!

It always comes rather as a shock to me to find the great ones of our little world are just as jealous and petty as the rest of us.

The Coggeshall Silk Loom to which Eric refers is now housed at Braintree District Museum. The Museum has displays on the history of Courtauld's Textile Mills in Braintree. The Museum Service also operates the Warner Textile Archive at Warner's Mill, Braintree, which is a unique record of textile manufacture and designs by the Warner Company from the 18th century onwards.

S.A. Courtauld was then chairman of the international textile firm of Courtaulds. Courtauld was also a patron of the arts and helped to found the Courtauld Institute of Art.

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