AN Oxford company has become one of the official bookbinders to the Queen after being granted a Royal Warrant.

Temple Bookbinders in Headington is the ninth company in Oxfordshire to receive the honour after working with the Royal family for the past five years.

The Royal Warrant recognises the high quality of the company’s work and marks a high point for the business 20 years after it was founded.

Well-known companies with Royal Warrants include Heinz, Bentley Motors and Cadbury.

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Temple Bookbinders owner Ian Barnes, originally from Blackbird Leys, said: “We were notified just before Christmas and we had to decide whether to accept over Christmas. It was a very easy decision to take.

“There are only about 800 companies in the country that have a Royal Warrant.

“It is a real honour.

“Everyone is delighted. Not just the current staff but staff who had previously worked here.”

Father-of-three Mr Barnes, who lives in Headington, set Temple Bookbinders up in 1994 after two previous companies he worked for closed down.

In the early days it operated from Mr Barnes’s back garden but now the 52-year-old employs eight people including wife Pauline and son Michael at its Stephen Road premises.

Five years ago the Royal household approached Mr Barnes and asked him to bind books for the Queen.

The award of a Royal Warrant demonstrates that the work his company has carried out has been of a high quality and that the company meets strict ethical and environmental standards.

As well as working for the Queen for five years, Temple hand-binds books for clients including Oxford University colleges, libraries across the country and collectors in countries as far away as the Middle East and Australia.

Staff restore and bind books ranging from student theses to priceless antique volumes.

Mr Barnes said it took about eight hours to bind a book and there was a large degree of skill involved. He said: “You have to have good hand-eye co-ordination and dexterity, but you also have to have a good idea of periods of history.

“Bookbinding in the 17th century was different from the 18th century and different countries had a different style.

“It involves a lot of precision, especially when you are working on something which has degraded quite badly.”

As well as appointing Temple Bookbinders as official bookbinder to the Queen, the warrant allows the company to display the Royal crest on its products.

Mr Barnes said: “We will get a crest from them and it will come in three or four weeks’ time.

“When we have got that it will go in the foyer.

“I am from Blackbird Leys originally and it has been a hell of a journey to end up here.”

Other county warrant holders

EIGHT other businesses in Oxfordshire are Royal Warrant holders:
Arterial Moving
Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery
Conservation Resources UK Ltd
FG Alden Ltd
Fleming Buildbase
JB Foot Trimming Services Ltd
Lowe and Oliver Ltd
Philip Lawson Johnston

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