York brass instrument firm Smith-Watkins that supplies fanfare trumpets to the royals will be on ITV4 show Made In Britain

Trumpeters from the Household Cavalry paid a visit to Smith- Watkins trumpet maker from near Sheriff Hutton to play some of their instruments and played their instruments outside the workshop watched by trumpet maker Richard Wright (centre left) and Richard Smith designer and owner of the company. Picture: Gary Longbottom.
Trumpeters from the Household Cavalry paid a visit to Smith- Watkins trumpet maker from near Sheriff Hutton to play some of their instruments and played their instruments outside the workshop watched by trumpet maker Richard Wright (centre left) and Richard Smith designer and owner of the company. Picture: Gary Longbottom.

His fanfare trumpets sounded the ceremony of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, not to mention the weddings of her grandsons Princes William and Harry.

Now the instruments made by Dr Richard Smith's York-based firm Smith-Watkins will feature on ITV4 show Made In Britain.

Dr Richard Smith. Picture: Daisybeck Studios/ITV.

Dr Richard Smith. Picture: Daisybeck Studios/ITV.

Since 2005 the firm has been contacted by the Ministry of Defence and have designed, made and supplied specialist brass instruments to most of the British military bands and a number of huge national events.

As well as royal ceremonies, Mr Smith's fanfare trumpets have been seen and heard at events such as the Grand National, the opening of the London 2012 Olympics and the State Opening of Parliament.

And these days they are all the work of Dr Smith and colleague Richard Wright, who toil away in a converted cow shed in Sheriff Hutton.

Speaking about his royal commissions, Dr Smith said: "It's fantastic. I get a bit blasé, but every time I see or hear them on telly - by accident, really - I do get very excited and proud.

"It's the one thing that makes it all worthwhile."

As a younger man Dr Smith took a Higher National Diploma course in applied physics, which involved a placement at the Marconi Company.

-> The Yorkshire firm behind the royal fanfares
He then undertook teacher training at the then St John’s College, York, followed by a short period teaching physics, holder of an master's in the acoustics of woodwind instruments and a PhD in the acoustics of brass instruments.

The latter involved some work with Boosey & Hawkes - at the time major manufacturers of musical instruments - and when the PhD was in the bag, the company offered him a job as its chief designer of brass instruments.

It was this company, that had made fanfare trumpets for the coronation of King George VI in 1937, that Dr Smith's instruments are now modelled on.

In 1985, he took redundancy and, with of £2,000, set up his own business at his north London home making instruments from his kitchen table.

He moved to North Yorkshire in 2005 and originally ran the business with Derek Watkins, who died a few years ago.

Speaking about the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Dr Smith said: "There was a picture of the page boy who was behind Meghan. When he heard the trumpet his mouth was wide open at it. He photo-bombed Meghan, as they say.

"His father said later he had never heard a trumpet before."

One of the firm's most recent commissions is to provide instruments for the band who play for the President of Finland, Sauli Niinistö.

Made in Britain is on Wednesday at 8pm on ITV4.