Friday, 2nd February was a momentous day for us at Timberpride as we welcomed HRH The Prince of Wales to our offices and sawmill in Tetbury.
The Royal Visit
So how did this fantastic opportunity happen? Well we established our business in 1995 with the focus of the business on managing forestry, felling, milling and drying oak saw logs for the market. This was all made possible thanks to the support of a Prince’s Youth Business Trust loan of £2,500 – a significant sum of investment in those days and which provided the capital that we really needed to start our business.
Our Co-Founder and Managing Director Alec Golesworthy formally invited HRH The Prince of Wales to visit to personally thank The Prince and to explain how that initial loan supported our early days and helped us shape the business into who we are today. As well as offering thanks and gratitude for that support Alec and his wife, our Co-Founder Victoria were keen to show The Prince around our site and show how Timberpride has grown into a well established business, still based in Tetbury, with an onsite sawmill and offices and provides local employment to a great team.
Welcome to our Guests
On the day itself Alec and Victoria welcomed our royal guest and visiting dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter, Mayor of Tetbury Cllr Stephen Hirst, Chairman of Cotswold District Council Cllr Julian Beale, Chief Executive of Cotswold District Council Mr David Neudegg and Countess Bathurst.
On arrival at the Timberpride offices The Prince was invited to tour the timber yard and was shown where the initial process for the timber commences. Using traditional techniques oak logs are air dried with poplar/ash sticks in the yard to allow the natural tension in the wood to ease and relax. The Prince then had the opportunity to see an oak log being prepared on the band saw before stopping at the Biomass Boiler which recycles sawdust and waste wood from the mill to heat the timber drying kiln and creates a sustainable source of heating throughout the premises.
Continuing his tour through the Production Shed The Prince watched the processing of planked timber and discussed the importance of the drying process before the green oak timber is hand-made into timber trusses and oak frame buildings. Throughout the tour our fantastic team were on hand to discuss their craftsmanship, techniques, experience and roles within the business.
Whilst touring our site The Prince stamped an oak leaf symbol on the piece of timber that was specially commissioned for the commemorative timber plaque of the tour. We recently adopted the the oak leaf to represent the symbol of our brand mark; a guarantee of oak quality and craftsmanship in our products for our customers. We are so proud that our first brand mark was placed on oak by HRH The Prince of Wales.
HRH The Prince of Wales Unveils the Commemorative Plaque
The Prince was then shown the interior of the offices by Alec and Victoria, a beautiful building which was designed by Alec and incorporates oak into much of the exterior and interior including different types of oak roof trusses. The visit ended with the unveiling of the commemorative plaque by His Royal Highness.
In Alec’s words “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome His Royal Highness today. In 1995 our business was established, supported by a Prince’s Youth Business Trust loan of £2,500. Today I was able to personally thank HRH The Prince of Wales for the invaluable support and help The Prince’s Trust provided to Timberpride at the start of our journey. We are very proud of our team, our sawmill and facilities and to be able to showcase this to such a prestigious guest was fantastic.”
HRH The Prince of Wales was presented with a specially designed and commissioned timber plaque which was carved with a personal message of thanks to The Prince by Victoria Golesworthy.
It was a very exciting day for the business and for everyone on our team. It was an honour to meet HRH The Prince of Wales and have the opportunity to show him our business and meet our team. It is a day which we will all remember for a long time.