Something to celebrate!

We are very proud to announce that one of our makers, Tom, has been recognised as one of the 60 most talented young people working in the furniture and furnishings industry.

The Furniture Maker’s Company, one of the 110 livery companies of the City of London, launched their ‘60 for 60’ campaign in order to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their grant of livery status in 1963. The award recognises the most accomplished and promising young people under the age of 35 across the UK working in the furniture and furnishing industry. From product designers, cabinetmakers and technical developers to logistics professionals, commercial managers and operations directors, the awards showcase a diverse range of career opportunities within the sector. From hundreds of nominees, Tom was selected as one of the 60 to receive the award – and very well deserved.

We put Tom’s name forward as our only ‘home grown’ cabinet maker. Tom has been with us since he joined us as an apprentice straight from school at the age of 18. He was already known to Bridget who had taught him History at school since he was 11 years old. When needing to complete a period of work experience during his sixth form, we offered him the chance to come to us and that was when he had a conversation with Simon whilst assisting him with a delivery which ultimately led to him joining the company in 2015.

After completing a 2 year apprenticeship, we were keen for Tom to join the team as a fully qualified, full time maker. His first solo project build was in 2018; an altar table for a local church. Much more than a simple table, this project required Tom to put into practice many of the traditional woodworking skills that he had been taught during his training and allowed his own particular talents to shine.

Throughout the project, Tom’s attention to detail and organisational skill were under the spotlight for the very first time. From Tom’s discussions with Simon about the design, to his interpretation of the drawings, he illustrated a deep understanding of the intricacies of what was required and what the overall feel and look of the end product needed to be. Acutely aware of the significance of the altar which was to be the centrepiece for worship and sacrament, Tom showed all the care and reverence befitting a piece that is expected to be used at the heart of the church for generations to come. He selected the perfect oak in which to construct the altar and was painstakingly meticulous in his approach ensuring that every component and joint was perfect. The underframe consisted of a number of complex curved pieces to reflect the nave arch and the stained glass windows, while the top was made from 11 separate pieces, detailed with v-grooves and accented by 5 hand-cut crosses. The result was an absolutely stunning final piece which commands its position in the church’s nave. A truly outstanding example of the furniture maker’s craft.

Since then, Tom has continued to excel and impress with his commitment to the craft, always looking for ways to improve his own practice and challenging us to do the same. We were delighted when he agreed to mentor our newest apprentice, Ben, who joined us from the same school in September of this year. Tom has embraced his new role, training Ben carefully in the acquisition of new skills and making sure he is fully abreast of the requirements of the course in order to give him the support he needs in evidencing his portfolio and fulfilling the tasks set by college tutors. Tom has already set out his expectation, not just for a pass but for a distinction and has paved the way for our apprentice to achieve it. It is a matter of pride, not just for Tom personally, but for the company that he will do his utmost to ensure that our new apprentice performs to the very best of his ability.

Amanda Waring, Master of The Furniture Makers’ Company, said: “Congratulations to Thomas, he stood out from the hundreds of entries we received from across the industry, ranging from wood working to carpet and textile design.”


Tom was somewhat taken aback by his success! He said, “After being told I had been nominated for the chance to receive an award, I didn’t for one minute think it would actually happen. So upon finding out that I was a 60 for 60 winner, I was surprised and speechless. It’s an amazing feeling to have my work recognised and it’s all down to the amazing company I work for, giving me the chance to continue learning and being creative.”

We were less surprised because from the moment Tom started his employment with us he has actively sought out opportunities to challenge himself and develop his own practice and has never expected to be treated differently on account of the fact he is deaf. He has been a true asset to the company and we were pleased to have been given the chance to publicly acknowledge his achievements and delighted that the distinguished judges also recognise his potential.

Simon and Bridget were even more excited to be able to accompany Tom and his lovely girlfriend, Ellen, to collect his award at a special reception hosted at the Carpenter’s Hall in London. Also, taking in a trip to Tate Modern and steak and chips in a traditional London pub, we celebrated his success in style – and even the trains ran on time!

Well done, Tom!