About Watlings, Established 1972
In 1972, Graham Watling who was head of the Art and Craft Department at the local school, having originally been a Commando in the Royal Marines, finally decided to leave teaching after 17 years to pursue his trade as a gold and silversmith,with his wife Jean.
By the time he had passed away in 1996, the business he started in Lacock, had flourished and had become established as one of the premier Gold and Silversmiths in the country.
Graham did his formal training at Loughborough University where he achieved a BA Hons. in silversmithing. He was then registered with the Assay Office in London, having his own Hallmark straight from graduation.
After setting up their business Graham and Jean soon realised that their children Jane and John both wanted to follow in their fathers footsteps and become jewellers.
At the age of 10 both children would help dad in the workshop, rather than doing the washing up or mowing the lawn! This developed into a fascination that stayed with them for the rest of their lives and having both trained as jewellers in their own right they now have their own separate hallmarks, to go with their own individual styles.
Jean would then set about selling and promoting the work of her family both at the gallery in Lacock and at the various exhibitions around the world. She had an amazing 'joie de vivre' coupled with unlimited resources of energy that helped drive her family to great success.
All the jewellery was and still is designed and made in their workshops in the beautiful courtyard alongside the shop.
The 15th century courtyard has always been a centre for business, 400 years ago it was a Coopers Yard and 200 years ago a butchers with stables and slaughter house.
Graham & Jean Watling introduce their young daughter Jane to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at an exhibition of Graham's work at the Craft Centre of Great Britain prior to the Montreal World Fair in 1969.
Jane is only 6 years old but has already made up her mind that she will be a jeweller one day.