The centenary of testing specialist SATRA was formally recognised yesterday with a visit from HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the unveiling of a specially commissioned external sculpture at its Kettering headquarters, designed to represent 100 years of research and testing.

After being welcomed by SATRA’s chairman, Stephen Etheridge, HRH marked the occasion with a speech to staff and 100 guests before meeting and discussing the work with the artist, Martyn Steele.

The royal party, along with local dignitaries and guests were given a tour of SATRA’s testing laboratories, which included demonstrations of the SATRA machines and the test methods that play a role in helping manufacturers make their products safer, more efficient and more sustainable.

The tour was followed by a lunch at nearby Boughton House. where Stephen thanked HRH and proposed a toast to all the scientists, engineers, technologists and support staff at SATRA.

SATRA’s chief executive, Austin Simmons, said: "Today marks a truly momentous occasion. SATRA was created 100 years ago by forward-thinking visionaries who realised that the footwear industry needed a strong technical resource to enable it to develop new materials and manufacturing techniques. We have always been immensely proud of the intellectual prowess of our people, without whom SATRA would not have been able to make the contribution it has to industry over the last 100 years."

Pictured: SATRA chief executive Austin Simmons (right) with HRH The Duke of Gloucester