Apprentices play their part in ancient Royal ceremony
Leading cutlery and giftware manufacturer Chimo Holdings and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre have joined forces to ensure three chairs fit for a Queen have genuine Made in Sheffield authenticity.
The chairs were commissioned for the Queen and other Royal guests to use during the centuries old Maundy money ceremony, which takes place at Sheffield Cathedral today (Thursday April 2).
The ceremony involves the reigning Sovereign presenting specially minted coins to local pensioners and has taken place at a UK cathedral or abbey on the Thursday before Easter since it was instituted by Charles II in 1662.
The chairs were commissioned by Sheffield Cathedral and have been given by the Master and Mistress Cutler, David and Ruth Grey.
Following the Royal Maundy Service, they will be in regular use in services at the Cathedral.
The chairs are primarily made of wood, but the arm rests of each chair is supported by a ring of stainless steel, made by Chimo and bearing a Made in Sheffield mark.
However, when it came to chamfering the rings to ensure a perfect fit with the wooden arm supports, Chimo needed a larger lathe than was available at its Eyre Lane factory.
Chimos Chris Hudson said: We thought a traditional company, working with advanced manufacturing would be an excellent combination of the skills Sheffield is famous for and where its future lies.
We also thought it would be great to involve apprentices from the AMRC Training Centre.
With trainer Mick Fairman taking the lead, Training Centre apprentices carried out the work and returned the rings to Chimo to finish and add that extra high polish fit for The Queen before they were fitted to the chairs.
AMRC Training Centre Director of Training, Alison Bettac, said: We were delighted to help Chimo, a successful company which has kept alive some of Sheffields most historic and prestigious cutlery brand names.
In years to come, those people from the training centre who were involved will be able to point to the chairs and say they played a part in a little bit of Sheffield history.
Maundy Chairs. Top Left: AMRC Training Centre apprentice Edward Allan (left) and trainer Mick Fairman discuss the work involved in chamfering the rings.
Phil Benton polishing Royal Chair support. Right: Phil Benton from Chimo Holdings, polishing one of the rings.