I grew up with Medals, Badges, Trophies and Cups. That’s not to say I was busy winning sports awards as a child and teen, but with my father having just started Classic Miniatures, it was all hands on deck – even little hands!
I have strong memories of the small factory in Barnes where I would visit during school holidays. Set on the corner of a residential street, I’d go in and be greeted by piles of rubber moulds, their distinctive smell penetrating the air. Each mould represented a work of art – carefully cut out to the shape of a sports person in action. Metal would be poured into the mould and heated until it set and became a wonderful little figurine trophy.
I remember striking a pose during a gymnastics session one year, and later that pose was turned into a mould and became the gymnastics figurine. Seeing the beautifully detailed trophy for the first time was something a gymnastics-crazy daughter doesn’t forget.
I learnt how to use the engraving machine as a teen and later when I got a Christmas job at a department store engraving names on pens, they were delighted that I picked up engraving so quickly! I think I engraved a thousand pens that Christmas – but who doesn’t love receiving a pen with their name on? Personalised Gifts, always a winner.
Eric Sykes, Lionel Blair, Bernard Cribbins and a number of other well-known actors visited our Barnes factory one year to film The Plank. Few words, lots of laughs - a hilarious slapstick comedy. It was a proud moment when we watched the film and saw our beloved little factory lit up on screen.
I was lucky to be able to earn a few pounds as a teenager by putting ribbons on medals. I clearly remember sitting on my living room floor threading hundreds of London Marathon medals, carefully and neatly, and then laying them in piles of ten so I could count them easily.
And now, many years later, I am still connected to Classic Miniatures. This time through helping on the new website build. It’s been a great experience to spend time with the brilliant team at Classic Miniatures, and to get to see how things now operate and the new technology, and how the product range has been updated over the years.
The engraving machine I once honed my skills on still sits proudly on the factory floor but is generally only used for the very old valuable cups, while the new all-singing, all-dancing machine delivers perfect engraving in no time at all. It’s terrific to have such good memories of Classic Miniatures and to have seen something that started out as just an idea turned into something so productive and quality-led.
I guess you could say I was, and still am, a Trophy Daughter – in the best possible way of course!