Tim Germain

I have been designing and making unique, original pieces of furniture by hand for over 25 years now. I live in the heart of Ipswich and my workshop is in Stratford St. Mary, 10 miles out in the sticks.

Benches have become quite an obsession for me- I spend a lot of time looking at them, sitting on them, thinking about them, talking about them, studying them. I believe some of them could be more comfortable, others more visually interesting, some more long-lasting, others more practical, some more conversation-friendly……. and many could actually be more of all of these things!

Blue King

I am Blue King, a freelance arts and heritage project manager working with and commissioning local artists and craftspeople.

During the last 30 years I have managed projects for the Arts Council, English Heritage, Churches Conservation Trust, Suffolk County Council, Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service and the Cultural Olympiad.

I started collaborating with Tim Germain in 2008 during a Creative Partnerships project to design an outdoor classroom area featuring Tim’s multi-function story telling chair.

We then worked together with local primary  schools during 2015/16 to create new furnishings and play equipment for a Heritage Lottery funded project at Quay Place in Ipswich.

Our latest adventure has been with children from Cliff Lane Primary to design a new bench for Holywells Park in Ipswich.

Greenways Countryside Project

James and his wonderful team of volunteers are responsible for the protection and management of around 100 square kilometres of green spaces around Ipswich and Suffolk.  As part of their work, occasionally they come across fallen trees and, with the help of their new mobile sawmill….. and plenty of blood,  sweat and tears…… they convert it into usable planks for our benches.  We only use true English oak, sweet chestnut or holm/evergreen oak, as they are the native timbers that last longest out of doors.  They provide us with truly local, sustainable, minimal-transport-miles timber and we are proud to pay them for it, thus financially supporting their great work.

Rich Germain

I now live in Old Windsor, Berkshire and my workshop is nearby, in the lovely village of Holyport.

I have been making furniture for over 20 years, having re-trained following almost as many years in a corporate background.   Tim’s enthusiasm for benches quickly rubbed off on me and having seen them installed and so well-used in East Anglia, I am now hoping to spread the word in the Home Counties.

I also volunteer with a couple of very worthwhile organisations in my spare time.   In addition to making individual pieces of furniture to commission, I offer my time and workshop to supporting Remap (, a national charity providing custom-made solutions for people with disabilities, many of whom suffer isolation and loneliness on top of their physical or mental conditions.   As a volunteer also with Samaritans ( I am totally convinced of the benefits of benches providing somewhere for people to sit in the fresh air, and hopefully meet other people and engage in a good old chat