24.08.21 Liveryman Richard Pugh

Liverymen visit Bicester Heritage

Pictured above: Coachmakers listen intently to a student from Heritage Skills Academy

On a hot 22nd July, The Master, Coachmakers, and guests made their way to The Heritage Skills Academy at the impressive Bicester Heritage.

The site was once home to the RAF and is one of the best, if not the best, preserved RAF airfield of the pre & post WW2 period. Coachmakers would be fascinated to learn more of the history of the base, details of which can be found on the Bicester Heritage website. Bicester Heritage opened its doors in 2013 and is already the home for more than 40 companies working in the historic motor vehicle movement.

Mrs Payne with the Renter Warden of the Clockmakers

Heritage Skills Academy is housed in original and well-preserved base buildings, which offer young people in the industry the chance to improve their knowledge and skills for their chosen career path. Young engineers come from all parts of the country for specialist courses on day- or week-release from their employers. During our visit we found all the students to be engaging and enthusiastic.

Heritage Skills Academy is funded with central government aid and through donations. The Coachmakers has recently made a substantial grant from the charitable fund.

Liveryman Neil Sheath and Freeman Jeff Stowe at the Wriggly Monkey

Upon arrival we received a warm welcome and an informative talk by Bicester Heritage Senior Brand and Marketing Manager Philip White. Then, assisted by Heritage Skills Academy Development Director Owain Johns and split into two groups, we toured just some of the specialist workshops, all of which are exceedingly impressive. After a light lunch, taken with the students, we visited a number of other specialists before retiring to the on-site Wriggly Monkey Brewery for ‘a little refreshment’.

All attendees agreed it was a fascinating and informative day.

Archivist, David Burgess-Wise considers following Liveryman Vivian Bush in procuring some ale to take home


PM Plaisterer, Liz Pugh and Liveryman Richard Pugh, the event organiser