Meet Peter Barker and Mike Budd
Hythe Group have opened up a brand new workshop specifically for woodworking projects. To find out more we spoke to experienced carpenters Peter Barker and Mike Budd, who recently joined the Hythe team.
Peter and Mike first worked with Hythe Marine Services (HMS) in May 2019, as contractors on a project for the Royal Navy’s Hunt Class minesweepers. After seeing their skill and work ethic, HMS offered them permanent roles within Hythe Group and in September 2019 they joined the team full-time.
Hythe Marine Services’ shop floor previously focused solely on metalwork and fabrication. Metal welders and fabricators often work in cold environments, whereas woodwork requires a warm, dry workshop. Combining these two crafts under the same roof would have posed a potential fire hazard (between the sparks of welding and the wood shavings of joinery work) and so the decision was made to keep the two workshops apart.
As a result, Hythe Group built a brand new workshop designed especially for woodwork, which is spacious, warm, clean and well-lit.
Both Peter and Mike obtained their NVQ Levels 1,2, and 3 in Carpentry and Joinery whilst completing apprenticeships at shipyard companies. Throughout their careers, they have worked for numerous businesses within the marine engineering industry.
Since his apprenticeship, Mike built a wealth of experience and skill working for A&P Shipcare, Sunseekers, Harris Pye Marine, Trimline, and BSA building and maintenance. During Mike’s time at A&P Shipcare, he worked on deck heads and bulkheads, built cradles for the ships to sit on, was part of the team dry docking ships and was involved in stripping out cabins.
Whilst working with various businesses, such as BAE Systems, Peter gained invaluable industry knowledge which he brought to HMS. Peter also spent time working for luxury yacht companies like Oyster and Compass Tenders. Throughout his time at Compass Tenders, Peter built and moulded high-end superyacht tenders from scratch, such as the Jupiter tender for their superyacht ‘Alisail’.
Prior to joining Hythe Group, Peter and Mike were working at the same company. Peter told us about a fantastic antique yacht he worked on during his time there. “I worked at a classic boatyard in Germany where we re-planked an antique boat from scratch. We used American cedar inboard plank and mahogany exterior plank, and the joinery consisted of old school scarf joints or for oak frames we used brass screws. It was traditional boat building in a very prestigious boatyard. A great project to be a part of.”
Through their previous company, Mike and Peter worked for Sunseekers on interior subfloors, roofing and decking. Interior fit-outs were always to an impeccably high standard. They recalled being in awe at the sheer size of the superyachts, and their unbelievable features like gyms and even cinemas!
“The work that we do is really rewarding because ultimately, the end result is on display for everyone to see. Having worked with superyachts and other high-end clients, the standards are extremely high and the finishes must be top-notch. It’s great to finish a project and see all that hard work on display,” Mike Budd.
With the new workshop, Hythe Marine Services can now provide custom high-quality joinery and carpentry services to the marine industry. This is a new in-house capability for Hythe Group, and they look forward to the different nature of projects it will bring.
Since starting with HMS in September, Pete and Mike have been busy working on some exciting woodwork projects. These will usually begin with a drawing, cutting list and edging and finish with bespoke, handmade items that meet customer’s exact requirements. These projects include custom wardrobes with built-in beds, radiator covers and bathroom utility units. After drawing up designs for one customer, they built a bespoke kitchen suite using tongue and groove vertical lines.
Mike commented: “Hythe Marine Services do exceptional work but it’s usually behind the scenes and hidden once the end product is completed. Our work is the final product, minus the finish, so it has to be perfect before leaving the workshop.”
In the future, Pete and Mike are looking to do more woodwork for Royal Navy carriers, such as their cabin refits, bar tops and workspaces and are also hoping to expand within the building side of the business. Their diverse careers have given them a wide-ranging skillset which enables them to adapt to anything. Their skills go beyond woodwork to mechanical fitting and installations, with Mike and Pete often helping out with bulkheads, tracks and deckheads. They also spent a lot of time last year working on the HMS Queen Elizabeth adding hinges to fire doors.
The new joinery workshop is now up and running within Hythe Marine Services. A great benefit to Hythe Group is the new workshop can also assist Building services on their projects where required. The new team with Peter and Mike is there to support the turnkey solutions HMS require. This gives customers the added ease of a one-stop-shop for their projects.
To find out more about how our bespoke woodworking services can help your next project, contact us here!