Success Story with Heart of Welsh Oak; Castles Order for Lovespoon Business
Byline: DAVID JONES
A CRAFTSMAN who created a traditional lovespoon for Prince Charles has won a major order to supply the historic sites of Wales.
Les Williams, of Pageant Wood Crafts, Llanrwst, fashioned the delicately carved royal lovespoon from Welsh oak to celebrate Prince Charles' visit to the town two years ago.
It is just one of a series of the romantic keepsakes the 45-year-old has made for celebrities over the years. Former England manager and European Footballer of the Year Kevin Keegan is another recipient of one of Les' lovespoons, as is American comedian Bob Hope.
Now the shops at Wales' great castles, from Caernarfon to Caerphilly and Conwy to Castell Coch, will be stocking lovespoons fashioned from Welsh oak and hand-polished at the company's workshop in a former chapel in Scotland Street, Llanrwst.
Mr Williams, who lives in Trelawnyd, began his career among the lovespoons as a 13-year-old boy sweeping out the workshop and making the tea at Pageant's which was then located in Glan Conwy. He took over the business in 1989 and moved it to Llanrwst.
The company's bid to win new orders, which also includes another major deal with Edinburgh Woollen Mills, has been boosted by support from Conwy Council's Rural Business Action scheme. Business adviser Trefor Rowlands said: "Les came to us with a request for help with winning new business and since part of his marketing involves trade shows we were able to provide him with display cases and with catalogues.
"We've also been able to give business advice and IT support, but Les and his firm are an example of how traditional skills can create and sustain a business.
"Lovespoons are intrinsic to Wales and instantly recognisable and these are the genuine article, made with passion and skill from locally-sourced materials. …