A CHIPPING Campden firm has celebrated half a century based in the High Street.

The family run Robert Welch Designs, the stainless-steel design innovator, was originally opened by Robert in 1969.

Robert’s daughter and son, Rupert and Alice Welch recently hosted a celebratory weekend to mark the anniversary, with customers and collectors enjoying meeting the talented design team and listening to talks on the life and work of Robert Welch.

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They also gained rare access to original materials, courtesy of the company’s archivist. Attendees included a couple who have 400 individual items from Robert Welch Designs in their home.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Robert Welch was selling his first batch of iconic cast iron candlesticks out of a suitcase, but by 1967 he was exhibiting these same designs at the furnishing store Heal’s, in a one-man exhibition. The studio shop was a window for the workshop which Robert set up at the Old Silk Mill in Chipping Campden, in 1955. It opened its doors on December 1, 1969, with Robert Welch himself working every Saturday, to allow him to meet customers face to face.

Rupert Welch said: "Today the shop is at the forefront of design and innovation and experiential retailing, showcasing iconic designs from 1956, through to the latest award-winning product launches. Products can be bought online, as well as from independent retailers and department stores over the world. Even with this international growth, the family-run business is fortunate enough to still be working and selling from the same buildings in Chipping Campden where it all began 50 years ago."