On August 28th , Mark Broadbent of Fenix Carriages welcomed the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers to his Carriage Driving Centre, situated in the beautiful Blackdown Hills.
Following Mark receiving a Worshipful Company of Coachmakers’ prestigious business and industry award this year following his receipt of the title ‘Master Coach Maker’ in 2015, the group of Liverymen were welcomed to Fenix to meet Mark’s fellow work colleagues and view the workshops. It was here that Mark’s ‘Design, Business and Industry Award’ winning para-carriage was designed and made.
Fenix supports disabled drivers to compete in the sport of carriage driving, and the Fenix Freedom Carriage is designed specifically for wheelchair users. The Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Coachmakers only has one actual coachmaker as a member – Mark, all the rest are from the automotive and aerospace industries with past award winners including Concord and Jaguar.
All guests also visited the Coach House where one of the largest collections of historic vehicles in the UK are housed, including a former state coach owned by King George IV, a carriage which carried Prince Albert from London to Manchester and the original Quicksilver Royal Mail coach; the famous London to Devonport coach that was recently auctioned, now part of a private collection.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company, flew in to Fenix for a special personalised visit. With great enthusiasm for competitive carriage driving, Prince Philip, who drafted the rules when carriage driving first became an internationally recognised sport in the early 1970s, took a great interest in all the carriages and the skilled work that Mark and his team produce.
“I have been privileged to compete with His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh over the years” said Mark “We had a wonderful tour of the workshops and carriage collection, Prince Phillip was very complimentary of those he met and all he saw. It was a great honour to welcome him to Fenix”