When Simon Robinson began making picture frames at his kitchen table, he couldn’t have envisaged that 40 years later his hobby would have grown into a thriving family business.
Starting small, selling his wooden frames at car boot sales, Simon’s handiwork proved so popular he soon outgrew the kitchen and moved production to the family garage, before sending an SOS to son Lester – working as a butcher in Australia - for help. By 2000, Simon Robinson & Son had opened their first premises on Melbourn High Street, and in 2003, the framers moved to their current studio in Haslingfield, with Simon bowing out to retire.
Today, Lester and his small team of specialists (all friends and family, including mum Rosie, known as ‘the oracle’), offer a bespoke framing service to clients including members of the public, artists, galleries, photographers, and colleges.
Their studio houses an impressive wall of frames, showcasing the extensive options available (around 800 at a guestimate). Wooden moulds are sourced from Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK - and clever ClearColour glass, which almost eliminates reflection, is available.
No job appears too big for the friendly team, who’ve framed everything from oil paintings and family photos to kimonos and car parts! Their biggest commission saw them frame 30 full-size replicas of artwork by the great masters, hung on walls around London.
They’ve also handled precious documents including handwritten letters by Scott and Wilson, for the Scott Polar Research Institute. To Lester, though, all work is treated with the utmost care, whether a rare watercolour or great granny’s embroidery.
Three decades on from inception, Simon Robinson & Son is flourishing, with customers who first shopped at Simon’s garage, continuing to visit Lester for their framing needs. Many drop off home-baked cakes too. That’s a true sign of good customer service!
Simon Robinson & Son is my framer of choice. Excellent customer service, combined with a fabulous range of frames, mounts and the all-important UV glass, which not only protects the picture but seems to enhance the colours. The workmanship is second to none and I am delighted with all the framing Lester has done for me over the years.
JAMES KEATLEY BSc FRICS