Meet the team
His passion for history and the cabinet-making skills learnt as a boy in his Grandfather’s workshop were supplemented with engineering skills, first acquired during his service with the Royal Engineers. These skills were distilled when he studied Furniture Restoration at West Dean College and later he taught Furniture History and Restoration at Rycotewood College and Bucks College (now Chilterns University) and in Ireland.
After some years working in the antique trade, restoring and dealing in furniture, he developed a growing interest in conservation, wishing to stabilise and preserve beautiful pieces made by craftsmen of the past, bringing out their best by showing their history.
This passion for conservation led him to Connemara for four years, setting up Ireland’s only government-funded centre dedicated to furniture conservation. It quickly became self-funding and undertook a series of major projects for the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin and Castlebar.
Back in the UK Colin worked on fine furniture in many National Trust properties. This included spending a year working in front of the public on The Pope’s Cabinet, one of the Trust’s foremost pieces – a fine Renaissance cabinet (made for Pope Sixtus the Fifth in the late 16th century) and resting on a wonderful English stand made by John Boson in the early 1740s. (A visit to see it in Stourhead, Wiltshire pays rich rewards!).
Colin now wants to have fun, preserving good furniture and offering it at affordable prices to new custodians who will treasure it.
Janet and Colin married in 2009 and they are joint Directors of Piper Chatfield Fine Furniture. She is a newcomer to the world of furniture, having spent the last four decades running her own International trade training business. She is passionate about the procedures, finance, documentation and customs intricacies of importing and exporting (surprisingly useful in understanding the practicalities of buying furniture from Portugal!).
Endorsing William Morris’ advice to ‘have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful’, Janet enjoys being ‘a professional shopper’, finding small, unusual suppliers to source the lamps, throws, cushions and accessories that make the shop attractive and unusual. Like Colin, she enjoys promoting the work of talented contemporary makers.
Her other pleasure is the friendly contact with customers, who make each day in the shop a pleasure.
Brigadier is an eight year old Chocolate Labrador and is another faithful member of the Piper Chatfield team. He sits calmly on his bed at the front of the shop and quietly welcomes all our visitors (including those with four legs).
Nicola joined us in March 2016. After falling in love with Stow on the Wold during a camping trip to the Cotswolds, Nicola and her husband purchased a holiday home in 2011 and spent every weekend here until moving up permanently from Buckinghamshire in December 2015. Having worked in a financial services environment for the previous 8 years she now takes great pleasure in making sure that all of our lovely furniture is on the Piper Chatfield website.
Polly joined us on 1st September 2016 having previously worked in Chipping Campden assisting an interior designer for 9 years. She brings with her a great wealth of customer facing experience and good eye for detail.
With her 'nothing is too much trouble' attitude Polly will ensure that your shopping trip with Piper Chatfield is an enjoyable one and she looks forward to seeing you.