We are a small family run company, or to put it another way I (Michael) say I do all the work and my wife (Celia) claims to do it all!
That is me on the left and Celia on the right standing by the wine racking we made for the Hilton Hotel in Manchester. As can be seen from the size of the Van rather a lot of wine racking!
We bought the company from our neighbours, David and Clive in 1991, almost by accident. Believe it or not we are still friends.
Their main business is the manufacture of high quality furniture and kitchens. They had acquired the Wine Rack business some years previously, again almost by accident, and although successful was proving difficult to run as well as their main business.
It was whilst involved in a consultancy for them that I learnt that they wanted to sell the business and thus entered into negociations to take it over ourselves.
That is Clive on the right in the picture as you can see helping us to load up the van for the Hilton Hotel. That particlar wine cellar was to hold some 4000 bottles in our racking!
The business itself had been in existence even before David's and Clives ownership, having been started in London in the 1970's. So between us we have over 40 years experience of building wine racks.
My own background is that of a management accountant who in spare time has always been actively building various items in woodwork, both for home and various stage sets or heating up the soldering iron for a amateur radio or electronics project. I have always thought that the most useful "O" Level I gained was woodwork!
I am still involved in Downs Associates, as a Project Planner and Manager. As such I have been a key person in a number of major projects some of national significance. I am a Member of the Association for Project Managemnet (APM).
I continue to run a Sound Equipment Hire and Installation Company. Edenfield Sound Ltd. A hobby which has got out of hand and which I now have professional qualification as a Member of the Institiute of Sound and Communications Engineers (ISCE). However, I enjoy the challenge of setting up systems for complex events.
Making wine racks is a creative way of spending time and meeting customers who enjoy their wine.
Celia, my wife, now retired, was a Teacher. A job she enjoyed - except for the ridulous emphasis on "targets", "initiatives" and paperwork with which the profession is overloaded these days.
Both of us have enjoyed an interest in wine since we have been old enough to appreciate good food and drink. We have spent many a pleasant days over the past 35 or more years in France investigating the benefits of the various wine growing areas. Although we have visited many of the smaller areas as well as the great areas of Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champange, we are still surprised by new discoveries. In future years we also look forward to more extending our research to other areas on the Continent and maybe further afield.