I served a three year apprenticeship with H J Hatfield and Son in Paddington London in the 1970’s where I gained experience working on 18th century French boulle furniture. Whilst there I attended a day release course in furniture restoration at the London College of Furniture.
In 1978 I started my own restoration business at Brasted in Kent. I worked under the guidance of a number of prestigious local antique dealers from whom I learned the importance of preserving original surfaces and patination. In the early 1980’s I established my business in a Georgian shop in Seal where I took on and trained a number of cabinetmakers, polishers and an upholsterer. By 1994 I employed eight crafts people and had outgrown the shop and an additional workshop. I was fortunate to find a large redundant Victorian church for sale in Dunton Green near Sevenoaks. This was a fantastic workshop for us to move the business into, which gave us the space to undertake substantial contracts for H.M. Foreign & Commonwealth Office and other large organisations.
In 2008 after thirty years of frenetic activity working both at my workshop and overseas I decided to scale back my business to enjoy restoring myself again rather than directing other people to do it for me. I now operate from my original workshop in Brasted undertaking work from long-standing clients and anyone with something interesting they want restored.
I specialize in antique wooden objects, solid or veneered, which require consolidation of loose joints, repair veneer work marquetry and inlay. I undertake all cabinet work and polishing myself to furniture, picture and mirror frames, barometer and clock cases etc. I have a gilder and upholsterers who take on these specialities for me.
Over the years I have worked for:
The Palace of Westminster: The Lords Chamber and other public rooms
H.M. Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Numerous overseas ambassadors’ residences
Church of England: Canterbury Cathedral, Church House Westminster, as well as a number of local parish churches
The National Trust: Chartwell, Kent
English Heritage: Downe House, Rangers House, Eltham Palace & Kenwood House
City Guilds: The Haberdashers
The Fan Museum
The Society of Antiquaries