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Alan Geoffrey Harmston (23 January 1943 - 18 January 2020)
Alan Geoffrey Harmston. Image courtesy Harmston family

Alan Geoffrey Harmston sadly passed away on 18 January 2020 aged 76.

Alan was appointed assistant editor for Eurostitch Magazine in February 1995 and was involved as assistant editor later also for Stitch & Print International till 2017.

In the 1970s Alan wrote and published two text books for the English school physics curriculum at ordinary and advanced levels that are still available at online bookshops today.

Geoffrey E. Macperson

Alan worked at Geoffrey E Macpherson Ltd from 1991 until 1995. He was occupied there with marketing and publicity. The company’s Nottingham head office with a showroom space of over 4,500 m² was the largest working showroom for multimedia surface decoration of textile products in Europe. Here Alan was occupied with the interviews of visitors from the press, universities and art colleges, overseas trade delegations, manufacturers of branded products, chain stores and many others who had problems to be solved.

It was here that he gained his knowledge about machine embroidery, screen printing, pattern programming and other forms for surface decoration. The Macpherson Organisation in 1992 had sales to more than 40 countries including USA, Europe, South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Alan’s office was situated within the Proving Room. In this room many of the key features of today’s embroidery machines were tested and facilitated or designed by Macpherson staff. Most notable at the time included the cylinder arm, drop table, keyboard lettering and style packs, PCs for pattern programming and cap frames. In addition processes that could be carried out at the point of sale (in front of the ultimate customer), non- garment embroidery applications that are still in use today in medical, automobile, electronics aerospace and many other industries.

Alan was responsible for the production of the company’s own full colour magazine known as the Vital Link that was sent to customers around the world. This magazine contained news of recent and future developments. Macphersons believed that they should offer a complete service, not just sell machines. Most weeks, staff would be showing or supporting at the world’s premier textile and clothing machinery exhibitions. Brochures would be collected, analysed and referenced for future use.

Assistant editor Eurostitch Magazine and Stitch & Print International

Alan arranged for Eurostitch Magazine (now Stitch & Print International) an interview with Geoffrey Macpherson, the founder chairman of the company bearing his name. The article appeared in September 1994. The same edition contained several other articles submitted by Alan including support for the Grand Eurostitch Embroidery Contest. Alan was appointed assistant editor for Eurostitch Magazine in February 1995 and was involved as assistant editor later also for Stitch & Print International till 2017.

We remember Alan as a loyal, hard-working person who was always helpful and always met the deadlines. He will be sadly missed by his wife Sandra, sons Kai and Lee and everybody who knows him in the embroidery industry.