A Masham brewery cooper’s 20 years of dedication and service to the ancient craft has been honoured by one of London’s oldest and best known trade organisations.
T&R Theakston Ltd’s Jonathan Manby – the country’s last remaining brewery-based craft cooper – has been made a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Coopers.
Among the privileges of this elevated rank, which comes 12 years after he was made a Freeman of the City of London – are the ability to vote for the incoming Lord Mayor of London, and to vote and stand in elections for the governance of the Worshipful Company of Coopers.
Whilst the Worshipful Company of Coopers’ role now largely concerns its charitable work – including advancing education with the support of two schools – the new liveryman says it still plays an important role in his unique trade.
Jonathan, who began life at Theakston’s as an apprentice cooper in 1995, said: “Becoming a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Coopers is a great personal honour for me.
“It is also a tribute to Theakston’s, which is keeping this ancient tradition well and truly alive in our part of North Yorkshire.”
Jonathan added: “The Worshipful Company of Coopers and its work has been something I’ve been a part of since my apprenticeship, and I’m very proud to play a role in the continuation of the craft of coopering.
“There aren’t many craft coopers left in the UK, and while a lot of the Worshipful Company of Cooper’s work is primarily concerned with charity, it still plays an important role in protecting and prolonging the practice of this trade.”
T & R Theakston Ltd executive director Simon Theakston said: “I speak for everyone at Theakston’s when I say how thrilled and delighted we are for Jonathan.
“This is an honour he richly deserves and I know he will be a credit to the Worshipful Company of Coopers.
“Jonathan joined Theakston’s as an apprentice in 1995, and has become an extremely talented craftsman during his two decades with us.
“As a full time cooper here, in the brewery, he has become an institution in his own right, and every year he demonstrates his coopering skills at shows and fairs around the country, and his cooperage is one of the main attractions at our visitor centre.”