2012 Diamond Jubilee Medal - TV EXCLUSIVE
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is helping to safeguard the jobs of dozens of workers at a Bedworth company.
Toye Kenning & Spencer won the contract as part of a consortium of three companies, each of which holds a Royal Warrant from Her Majesty the Queen to make the official medals to mark the 60th anniversary of Britain’s second longest reigning monarch.
Bernie Cope, production director at the factory in Newtown Road, Bedworth, said: “It’s fantastic news and has given us a lot of work at a time when a lot of companies are struggling.
“The timing could not have been better for us when a lot of people are looking for work. It is a fantastic bonus.
“But all of us are very proud that Bedworth is involved and playing its part in such a prestigious, world-wide event.”
Toye, Kenning and Spencer and two other Royal Warrant holders are working flat out to produce 450,000 medals for the June celebrations.
They will be presented to members of the Armed Forces, the emergency services and prison service personnel.
“The medals are stamped at our factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter and then come over to Bedworth where the ribbons are woven and the medals made up,” said Bernie Cope.
More than 100,000 metres of ribbon has already been woven on the Bedworth factory’s looms with even more to come.
But Toye, Kenning and Spencer are no stranger to Royal occasions.
They have held a Royal Warrant since 1953 when they made the Coronation robes for the Queen.
They also produced medals for her Silver and Golden Jubilees which are much prized but the one for her Diamond celebrations will become family heirlooms’ and have woven campaign medal ribbons for soldiers since the Boer War, including the one for the Victoria Cross.
“Each Queen’s Jubilee medal comes in a box and the ribbons are in red, white and blue,” said Bernie Cope.
Toye, Kenning & Spencer are manufacturing ribbon for a selection of different Countries in the Commonwealth for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. As you can see in the above video clip from the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
As well as producing the full size medals, Toye, Kenning and Spencer, also make miniatures which can be worn on a ribbon bar with other miniatures of campaign and service medals: “People wear them in case the full size ones get lost,” said Carol Walker, the company’s Bedworth-based medals expert.
She added: “People can also buy replica medals. They are stamped `copy’ and they are not supposed to wear them.”
Fiona Toye, chief executive of the 300-year-old family firm that was founded by Huguenot weavers who fled persecution in France, praised the workforce.
“It is a measure of their unique skills that we were awarded the Royal Warrant because we made the Coronation robes at the beginning of the Queen’s reign and now we are producing the medal to mark her Diamond Jubilee,” she said.
Secretary of State for culture, media and sport Jeremy Hunt said: “I hope the official medal will serve as a mark of thanks to all those who give so much in the name of society and public service and I extend my congratulations to all of the recipients.
He added: “It is right that we reward those people who, like the Queen, also dedicate their lives to public good and who represent the very best of British spirit.”
Inside the lid of each burgundy medal box is an inscription in gold leaf which reads: `By Appointment To Her Majesty the Queen. Suppliers Of Gold And Silver, Laces, Insignia And Embroidery. Toye, Kenning and Spencer.’