UK Enterprise Awards 2021

160 | UK Enterprise Awards 2021 Apr21583 Best Specialty Bespoke Bed Makers 2021 - South West England Nested deep in the heart of Cornwall, down windy roads of a quaint little village called Par, not far from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the Cornish Bed Company is one of the last working foundries to hand cast iron beds using traditional and authentic methods. Following its richly deserved success in the UK Enterprise Awards 2021, we got in touch with Garry Smith, the Director of Cornish Bed Company to discover more about this award-winning business. Metal beds first started to appear in Britain at the beginning of the 19th century. The industrial revolution brought radical new technology and manufacturing techniques which ultimately changed many aspects of people’s everyday lives, and the bed that people slept in was no exception. From the early 1800s metal became an increasingly popular choice of material for Victorian bedsteads. During this era hygiene was an important concern and cast iron bedframes provided a sterile yet extremely durable base, in place of traditional wooden frames. The manufacturing process for Victorian bedframes in the 19th century used the same hand pouring and intricate polishing methods that the Cornish Bed Company continue to pracise today. Designed to be opulent and exquisite, iron and brass bedsteads were influenced by the Art Nouveau movement celebrating nature in their aesthetic. The cast iron and brass bedstead continued to be a popular choice for the Edwardians, employing the same manufacturing methods as the Victorians. However, the designs had developed to suit the emerging Art Deco movement. Art Deco, inspired by cubist artists such as Picasso, influenced the geometric shapes within the Edwardian cast iron bedsteads. When it comes to competition, offering customers reliable, authentic and beautiful beds enables the company to stand out from the crowd. “Inspired by the angular Art Deco trend, and the durability of our metal beds is clear to see why many original Victorian beds are still found in homes and antique shops today. By continuing to keep those traditional techniques alive, we like to think our beds will become the antiques of the future. Every bed has our unique cast knuckle joint to attach the side rails to the head and foot of the bed. This self-locking, authentic system ensures a lifetime of service, and is uncomparable to the modern flat pack beds that are held together with often flimsy bolts. The range includes traditional iron, brass and nickel beds, day beds, four posters, half testers and headboards - with recently launched outdoor collection as well as a host of bespoke options in addition to the standard sizes. Each bed is hand poured using traditional gravity casting and then individually numbered to make it bespoke and personal for each customer. Iron beds are robustly powder coated in a choice of many colours, and brass beds are skilfully antiqued and then lacquered by hand with a matt lacquer to ensure the finish lasts the test of time”. With a plethora of experience to call upon, the experience behind the team at the Cornish Bed Company is invaluable as Garry points out. “Highly-skilled at antiquing and finishing, the team make sure all bed castings are silky smooth before placing them in the oven for firing. Years of experience in bed manufacturing obviously helps, however working in such a fast paced industry means the team have to remain cool under pressure at all times”. Despite the outbreak of COVID-19 temporarily forcing its showrooms to close, the company’s online presence ensured the business could still operate during the midst of a pandemic as Garry explains further. “Our production lead times, which are normally around 6 weeks and the natural social distancing on the Foundry floor meant that our craftsmen could continue working, in line with all government guidelines and we always kept all customers informed. We found all customers extremely understanding and we couldn’t be more grateful for their continued support”. Moving forward, the Cornish Bed Company is keen to build upon their latest success in the UK Enterprise Awards 2021 by attracting further customers who appreciate the fine beauty of a traditional metal bed and maintaining its outstanding industry reputation in crafting the finest metal beds arounds. Company: Cornish Bed Company Contact: Garry Smith Email: Web: Phone: 01726 825182