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Meet Our ‘Inside the Factory’ Team

21st August 2019

Guides & Advice

They might have been the stars of BBC Two’s Inside the Factory, but these familiar faces play a huge role in the success of Harrison Spinks every day! Read on to find out more about our Inside the Factory team, and the part they play in helping create our luxurious mattresses!

Darren Rhodes - Group Manufacturing Director

Darren Rhodes2

Responsible for all Manufacturing and Supply Chain activities, we were introduced to Darren on Inside the Factory as the steel wire rod arrived at Harrison Spinks, ready to begin the wire drawing process with Gregg Wallace!

On a day-to-day basis, Darren oversees the Fillings, Weaving, wire drawing, Springs, Mattresses, Divans and Headboards and Warehouse and Logistics processes at Harrison Spinks! He has spent the majority of his career in the Wire and Spring Unit industry, but takes pride in working at Harrison Spinks.

Darren said ‘Vertical integration of the majority of our activities, particularly wire drawing, is what makes Harrison Spinks different. At the heart of all of our beds is the spring unit and having the chance to showcase how we manufacture our own wire and springs is a fantastic opportunity for Harrison Spinks.’

Richard Essery - Managing Director of Harrison Spinks Components Division

Richard Essery

On Tuesday night's episode, we met Richard as he talked through our spring production process, before showing Gregg how we transport mattresses from one area of our factory to another!

Richard has been part of the Harrison Spinks team for over six years. As Managing Director of Harrison Spinks products, he is involved heavily in product development, as well as directing strategies to drive and improve the business.

Richard said ‘It was great to be involved in the shooting of Inside the Factory, we are an unusual company as we are so vertically integrated and I genuinely think the public will be surprised when they see what’s involved in making one of our luxury beds.’

Matt Butler – Textiles Production Manager


On Inside the Factory, we saw Matt explain why we weave our own mattress ticking on site, and the process of cutting and sewing the borders, tick and handles of our mattresses. Matt also introduced Gregg to the fillings department, showing him how to create his own wool layers ready to take to the mattress line!

Joining us at Harrison Spinks 11 years ago, Matt now looks after all production and projects relating to the Fillings, Hemp Processing and Weaving Departments.

He said of the experience ‘We are passionate about what we put into our mattresses, that’s why we only use the best natural fibre fillings. Inside the Factory has been a fantastic way to highlight not only the quality of our beds, but where they come from.’

Liam McPartland - Farm Manager

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During the programme, Liam gave us a glimpse of life at the Harrison Spinks Farm, explaining why we rear our own sheep, and even demonstrating the sheep shearing process!

Liam cares all year round for our livestock, consisting of speciality sheep, Angora goats and alpacas, as well as growing hemp and flax to produce our mattress fillings. His expertise allows him to manage the daily running of the farm the way he sees best. He lives on the farm with his partner Becky, and their children Mia and George, who are already showing a keen interest in sheep handling!

Gary Smith – Mattress Line Supervisor

Gary Smith

On Tuesday night's episode, Gary showed us how all the components come together to make a finished mattress. From attaching the wire frame and hand side-stitching the borders, to adding the layers, tufting and tape edging, Gary helped Gregg have a go at each stage of the process!

Gary has been part of our team for 12 years, during which he has mastered each skill that goes into handcrafting our mattresses. As Supervisor, he now ensures that every bed is completed to the highest standard and on time.

He said 'Inside the Factory is a great way for the nation to see all the hard work and dedication that Harrison Spinks put into a great night’s sleep.'

Simon Spinks - Managing Director


Once the finished mattresses were ready to head to stores, Simon met with Gregg at our distribution warehouse to explain how our mattresses reach Dubai, Korea, USA and across Europe!

Simon became Managing Director of the company when he was 25, but his family has been running the company for five generations. Day-to-day, Simon can be found meeting customers, working with the development team on new spring machines, in the sleep lab with the testing team or in board meetings.

Simon said ‘To be chosen to be part of a programme as prestigious as Inside the Factory is a huge honour for Harrison Spinks. Our employees are all incredibly proud of their workplace and to shine a spotlight on the amazing time-honoured skills and traditional bedmaking methods that we nurture during such a brilliant slot on the BBC is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’

The Harrison Spinks Family

At Harrison Spinks, our employees are more like family, with each and every one of our 600 members of staff playing an integral role in the running of our business. From our craftsmen and development teams, to our drivers and farmers, we really couldn’t do it without them! We hope you got a chance to meet some of our team on Inside the Factory and see for yourself the pride our employees share.