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A Royal visit for Geoffrey Parker

Geoffrey Parker Games, a 61-year-old Essex based family business, famous for making handmade luxury board games, received a royal visit from HRH The Princess Royal on Monday 23rd September.

Originally founded by Geoffrey Parker in 1958 the business has a long history making some of the worlds finest board games for celebrities, public figures and some of the most luxurious shops in the world.

The business has just celebrated it’s 60th year and continues to be run by the Parker family from the same location in Essex, where it was first founded.

“The royal visit celebrates our staff, their dedication to the industry, our company, and shines a light on the incredible craftsmanship industry which still exists in England today”. Elliot Parker, Sales Director

HRH Princess Anne arrived by helicopter at the Wimbish recreational ground, where she was escorted through the village by police. On her arrival she was greeted by Vincent Thompson, Her Majesty’s Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Essex; CEO Max Parker, his wife Chrissie Parker, Director Elliot Parker and his partner and Marketing Manager Millie Burke.

The Princess was then taken for a private lunch before being introduced to local dignitaries including Chairman of Uttlesford District Council Roger Freeman and Ted Browne Chairman of Wimbish Parish Council.

Following lunch, HRH was given a tour of the premises before meeting members of staff where each demonstrated the unique skills, which Geoffrey Parker is famous for including inlaying, and hand stitching. Inlaying is a technique used by the craftsmen and women on almost all of the products they create; it involves removing sections of leather and perfectly replacing them with another piece of leather in a different colour. The join must be seamless, especially in backgammon, which requires a super-fast smooth playing surface at championship level. During the demonstration, HRH was also shown embossing and splitting of the specialist leather used at Geoffrey Parker.

Following the demonstrations, HRH visited the showroom, where the company displays examples of finished products and projects from the archives.

Finally, HRH Princess Anne visited the new workshop facilities designed to help the company continue to expand with the growing demand for traditional games and luxury gifts. Here HRH unveiled a plaque and signed the visitors book before taking her leave with a police escort back to her waiting helicopter on the village recreational ground.