The Wrought Iron & Brass Bed Co makes beautiful brass and iron beds.

Dog walkers on Norfolk’s Hunstanton Beach were slightly bemused when they came across a Country Life photographer and some of the staff from Wrought Iron & Brass Bed Co lugging a king-size version of their George bed (the heaviest in the range) across the dunes. ‘It started to sink, so we had to prop it up on stones,’ explains Harry Thompson, son of the company’s founders, who operates the marketing side of the business and was our model.

The business is entirely family operated now that both sons have been lured from their earlier careers. ‘It’s all hands to the pump and we like it that way,’ says Harry. ‘If you order a bed from us, it’s not unusual for one of the directors to turn up to assemble it.’

The idea came when the family returned to Norfolk after years away and bought two new iron beds. ‘The quality was appalling, so my parents thought they could do something better and set about finding out how this could be done with Norfolk craftsmen.’ Wrought Iron & Brass Bed Co was soon supplying John Lewis with brass and iron beds — a relationship that ended in 2005, but, by then, the momentum of the business was robust enough to keep going.

Today, inspiration comes from a variety of sources — ‘My mother’s a fan of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, hence the Emma bed’ — but the beds are made in a workshop down the road, so they can be tailored. The company is currently converting the old village hall, which had been shut for years, into a showroom and ‘community hub’. Harry explains: ‘The village hall was built using stone from Queen Alexandra’s old bungalow on Snettisham Beach, which was destroyed in a fire. It’d been lying empty, so we received permission from Sandringham to breathe new life into the building.’

For more information, telephone 01485 521823 or visit www.wroughtironandbrassbed.co.uk