Workshop is new jewel in high street’s crown

Robert French, second from left, with business partner David Handsford, left, wife Marian, right and mayor Jeannette Matelot Green
Robert French, second from left, with business partner David Handsford, left, wife Marian, right and mayor Jeannette Matelot Green

A goldsmith with more than three decades experience has opened up an independent high street jewellery workshop.

Robert French and his wife Marian opened the doors to the Thame Jewellery Workshop on the town’s high street and are stocking pieces by local jewellers, as well as selling pieces forged by Mr French himself.

The 52-year-old started off as an apprentice in Hatton Garden, London at the age of 16, and has been working with metals for the past 36 years.

He and his wife Marian – who have been married for nearly 30 years and live in Ludgershall – opened the doors to customers for the first time on Saturday along with business partner David Hansford, and there were glasses of bubbly all round.

Mrs French, who is mum to Jack, 26, and Robert Junior, said: “It was buzzing in here – it was chock-a-block for the first three hours, and it’s only a small shop!

“People loved it and said they were pleased that there was some organic, different jewellery.

“My son Robert Junior has a degree in design, so he helped with the window display, getting pieces of wood from the local woods. He’s very creative!

“I think Robert’s favourite pieces to make are wedding and engagement rings. He made mine, and he made lots for our friends.

“Now, we have our friend’s children coming back asking us to make theirs, which is really lovely.”

Town mayor Jeannette Matelot Green said: “Thame Jewellery Workshop is a great addition to Thame’s independent shopping offer.

“The jewellery itself is wonderful – hand-made and there really is something for every pocket, from jewellery for children by designer Sophie Court to real designer pieces using precious stones.

“Thame extends a very warm welcome to Thame Jewellery Workshop.”

For more, search Thame Jewellery Workshop on Facebook.