My first employment after leaving Secondary School in Somerset with A Level qualifications in Woodwork in 1977 was in the restoration workshops of J.H. Collings Ltd, a long established antique dealer and furniture restorer near Weston Super Mare, Somerset. Here learning invaluable skills under the supervision of their experienced restorers at a time when the antiques trade was booming.
Following on from this, was enrolment on a City and Guilds course in Furniture Design and Technology at Rycotewood College, Thame, Oxfordshire with an emphasis on furniture design, but with a passion for restoration work I left the course. During the time spent at Rycotewood, I worked part time for Michael Bull Antiques at their Oxford furniture restoration workshop.
From there, becoming a self employed antique furniture restorer in the South West and over the next 20 years undertaking restoration work for antique dealers in, Tetbury, Wiltshire and Chepstow including a 5 year period contracting out exclusively to the workshops at the rear of Bell Passage Antiques in Wickwar, South Gloucestershire, much of my work was on pieces destined for sale at retail outlets both here in the UK and in the United States.
Between 2000 and 2015, I ran a busy furniture restoration business out of large workshop premises in Iron Acton, South Gloucestershire working for mainly antique dealers in Bristol, Berkshire, Wiltshire and private clients in the Bristol area and beyond. Commercial clients included Rolls Royce Corporate Hospitality, Bristol University, Clifton College, Abbey House, Glastonbury and the largest antique furniture shop in Bristol.
Since 2010 which was when the antiques trade started drastically slowing down, the decision was made to concentrate exclusively on working for private clients gaining large amounts of work through my furniture restoration website and via personal recommendation often with up to 10 weeks work ahead of me.
During this period I undertook work for private customers seeking a furniture restorer in Bristol, Bath, Gloucester and surrounding areas, also Cardiff, Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Devon, Cornwall and alot of areas in between.
All through these years, there has never been a shortage of work.
30 March 2015 was a milestone in that I really wanted to slow down and downsize the business and now work discreetly from a small workshop at home enjoying restoring furniture at a more relaxed pace!
At the age of 56 having been in this trade for 37 years, theres hardly any problem I haven’t solved and am now apparently approaching this thing called semi retirement, which means a working week of 40 hours instead of 60! I’m passionate about my occupation and always actively seeking interesting work from private clients in any location, preferably on smaller pieces, just on a smaller scale than before.