Little could Harold Hedges have envisaged that when he set up his jewellery business in Clifton in 1973 he would still be running it half a century later.
“I’m still in the same workshop, same street and don’t have any plans to move elsewhere or pack up” he said.
Harold recalls that he was fascinated by precious metals, especially gold, when he was just fifteen years old. He served an apprenticeship as a goldsmith, trained at the Central School of Art and Craft and the Sir John Cass college in London. He then broadened his experience by working in Montreal, Canada.
On returning to England in 1972 Harold Hedges found work in London’s historic jewellery quarter, Hatton Garden. He had long wanted to run his own business so the following year moved to Bristol. Since then he has been making custom design jewellery at his Dragon Workshop in Princess Victoria Street.
“I create anything in gold, silver platinum, or even copper but I’m mainly working with gold or silver”. Most of his customers want specially made engagement and wedding rings with diamonds in them. “I also source diamonds to create jewellery like necklaces and bracelets. Some of my customers come here because they’re parents did some years ago” said Harold.
He’s proud to show off his workshop, which is behind his reception and display desk. His benches are covered with every tool that a jeweller might need.
“It was cluttered when I arrived here and its got a bit more cluttered since then,” he laughs. “Some of the tools and machinery I use today I was using 50 years ago”.