Meet the Maker | Noel Thompson, Bentley Motors
Each week we ‘meet a maker’ from a Walpole member company, shining a light on the highly skilled craftspeople creating British luxury products and experiences. Today, introducing Noel Thompson, a skilled coach trimmer and creator of beautifully crafted steering wheels for Bentley Motors.
Tell us what you do?
I’m a skilled coach trimmer which is the automotive equivalent of an upholsterer and I was trained during my apprenticeship to make everything in the car.
My job at the moment is to trim the various steering wheels that go into our cars. I also talk to customers and general interest groups when they visit the factory. This job takes me round the world to events such as dealer openings and motor shows in far flung places such as Shanghai, São Paulo, Bangkok, Singapore and New York.
What do you love most about your job?
Actually meeting people and demonstrating the skills that go into the making of our cars. We encourage people to try their hand at stitching a steering wheel at events, whether they be customers, the general public or press. Should a customer wish to see their car being built, if they time their visit correctly we will hold the steering wheel back from the track and teach them to sew a few stitches in their own wheel. This I believe no other car company does.
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