Cornwall

South West's businesses kept busy by royal appointment

Mike Rowland Wheelwrights and Coachbuilders was established in 1964. However there have been wheelwrights in the Rowland family stretching back several generations.

In January 2005 the Devon based company received the Royal Warrant of Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, to provide wheels for the royal carriages.

"The warrant is the crowning glory - it's like winning an Olympic medal for your trade," the company's Greg Rowland said.

"You can't buy it, you have to earn it. It's a true honour."

The traditional skill was passed down to Greg by his father and he is one of a long family line of wheelwrights.

The company has also supplied the film industry in the past, with its locally produced work featuring in the international blockbuster Gladiator.

But the family-run business team is adamant that if the Queen is calling, even Hollywood has to take a back seat.

"If they ring us and we're needed we will go at short notice," Mr Rowland said.

"If something is needed in a hurry then other people have to wait unfortunately."

When asked if his company is providing the wheels for the royal wedding carriages later in April, Mr Rowland says he is sworn to secrecy.

BBC Spotlight's Janine Jansen is looking at companies in Cornwall and Devon with royal links. More will follow on the BBC website during April 2011.

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