Meet The Maker - Barry Riddle
When Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine approached us about a piece they were writing for their "How It's Made" column, our very own Barry Riddle, the Foundry Manager, shared his story and how he's come to be one of the longest-serving craftsmen we are very proud off. Barry's tireless attention to detail and care for his work ensures your bed leaves the Foundry only with his seal of approval and a signed certificate of authenticity.
Read the full interview with Barry below...
Every morning, the first thing I do is walk my dog Murphy. I then I have a cup of coffee before I drive to work.
Once at work, what’s the first thing you do?
I am usually the first one in, so I turn on the power to get everything going and make sure the factory is ready for when the other members of the team arrive. Then I check my emails for any new orders or enquiries.
What are you responsible for in your job?
The running of the factory, ensuring we have all the materials we need to make our beds, overseeing staff, and ensuring each process of production is carried out with the utmost care. I have worked at the Cornish Bed Company for more than 25 years so I know everything inside out and I am always on hand for quality control. I also deal with all customer enquiries and orders, liaising with them regarding style, colour, and finish.
Talk us through your typical day…
You will find me at my desk organising new orders, filing them in our system and then putting them out to the team. I also spend a lot of my day helping out in the factory, be that fettling, antiquing or powder coating. I check every bed before it is sent out to its new home.
What is the last thing you do before going home?
I make sure all machinery is turned off and shut the power off. The factory becomes very quiet – a lovely peaceful moment after a busy day.
How did get your job?
I started as a fettler. I was introduced to the business through my wife’s colleague at the time. Since then I’ve worked my way up through roles.
EACH DETAIL ON A BED IS FETTLED BY HAND
Is there a skill you’re glad you possess and why?
I am good with people which is helpful as my job involves a lot of customer service as well as the hands-on work. I am focused on attention to detail as I want everything that is handmade to be perfectly executed and, importantly, built to last.
What is your proudest moment at work?
Every time a customer leaves the factory happy after buying their dream bed. It’s such an important piece of furniture, so it is a great feeling knowing they have chosen one that I’ve worked on and that they will have it for years to come.
What surprises or impresses people the most when you tell them what you do?
That every bed is handmade and can be tailored to their needs and wants.
Tell us about the weirdest thing that’s ever happened at work...
I once made a bespoke bed with rings welded into the posts at both ends. It was quite unique!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Being involved in the process of hand-making the beds in the traditional way. I feel passionate about keeping those classic craft skills alive and in use to create items for our modern homes.
How do you like to relax when at home?
I enjoy walking Murphy – I have lots of beautiful routes near us
in Par, Cornwall and I find it a great way to relax and unwind. I also love spending time with my grandchildren, playing Sudoku, and getting stuck into some TV.