A short conversation at a busy
Wheathills Open Weekend ignited an idea that began with the words,
“a fantasy place where dreams, secrets and surprises are kept safe”.
From those few words an obsession grew for both the clients and Nigel Heldreich,
owner of Wheathills Exquisite Memory Boxes, and before too long a concept and a brief were
created - a theatre of memories, secrets and surprises.
Over the following 18 months and countless conversations with the clients, Nigel
and his team of highly skilled craftsmen, developed that initial concept into an
amazing Memory Box in the form of a miniature Pantheon Theatre, created by hand
using age old techniques and the very finest wood from all over the world.
Using ‘marquetry’, the very fine, detailed and beautiful
craft of inlaying minute pieces of wood into another
piece of wood in order to create imagery, the team of
ten craftsmen and designers began creating a journey
through Tuscany and many memorable holidays the client
had experienced. The theatre, architecture and the visual
arts were top of the bill, and all housed in a Palladian
style building of stone, gilt Corinthian columns, domed
ceiling, galleries and grand staircase.
Watch a BBC TV Feature on
Wheathills' Memory Boxes
Characters from favourite plays peep around corners, through windows
and hold conversations in the street. Actors themselves
sign programmes and drink champagne. Playwrights and
composers tussle with words, with a backdrop of a Lowry-painted
Manchester street scene flowing into a Tuscan market,
all playing their part in the telling of a life’s story
of two people travelling around the world in pursuit
of their passion.
Nigel Heldreich, owner of Wheathills,
said; “What started as almost a throwaway comment has
turned into a magical journey for everyone involved
in this wonderful Memory Box. From the initial idea,
through to the finished piece this folly has been played
out in our workshop with wood, traditional craftsmanship,
passion, emotion, laughter and even tears. Now though,
it’s time for us to hand over ownership of the box to
our wonderful clients who will, I’m sure, enjoy its
beauty for years to come”.
But as beautiful and unique as the box is, its outward appearance tells only a fraction
of the story, and for the proud owner of this priceless
item the journey has only just begun. Over the coming
years this unique Memory Box will have its compartments
within filled with small objects infused with precious
memories, which far surpasses its considerable monetary
value and will evoke unforgettable moments from the
clients' adventures. This is the true reason for owning
any Memory Box and so it is for this spectacular Pantheon
Theatre of dreams, secrets and surprises, that is destined
to become one of the most precious items the clients
will ever possess.