The man behind St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s fabulous ceiling

James Taylor of TMJ Interiors

James Taylor of TMJ Interiors - Credit: Archant

Who built St Edmundsbury Cathedral’s fabulous ceiling? James Taylor of TMJ interiors was behind it - here he shares his Suffolk life with Gina Long MBE

James Taylor and his wife Clare and their family

James Taylor and his wife Clare and their family - Credit: Archant

James Taylor Managing Director of TMJ Interiors, a high-end commercial and residential joinery firm based in Bildeston Suffolk and London. James founded TMJ in 1981, today he has over 190 highly skilled employees. TMJ Interiors have worked on many impressive buildings, including Windsor Castle, Bloomberg's HQ in London, The Royal Opera House, The Olympic Park to St Edmundsbury Cathedral's fabulous ceiling, hence gaining a reputation as industry leaders with their specialist joinery and interior bespoke 'fit-outs'. The 'official opening' of their new Technology and Apprentice Training Centre takes place on Friday February 28. As well as his passion for business, James is a family man. With the other love of his life being Motorsport, he is also a racing fanatic. Here he tells us all about his East Anglian life.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I'm a very proud Suffolk born and bred guy. On a personal level it's where my wife Clare and my three children, Oliver, Harriet and Lucy live. On a professional level, it is where my business TMJ Interiors is based in Bildeston. People are often left surprised that our 'local company', with local, very skilled people, undertake fantastic projects in some of the most prestigious businesses and buildings in the UK and indeed the world.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

Walking the dog in the countryside, I often smile reflecting how fortunate I am that I live and work in such a beautiful part of the world.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

Most Read

The fact that we have

been promised our trains will

be upgraded for the last 30

years…

What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

Without question Maison Bleu in Bury St Edmunds. We are also fortunate to have the Bildeston Crown close by.

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

A BBQ at home with friends and family in the summer.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

Bury St Edmunds Cathedral - looking at the amazing ceiling in the tower, that our team at TMJ helped create.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Springtime walking, which marks the end of dull and gloomy winter days, plus the daylight hours are thankfully longer too. When it comes to events, The Suffolk Show is firmly in our family calendar and we enjoy going along to the Family Festival Race Day at Newmarket. The first Sunday of September is one of our favourites with The Classic and Sports Cars by the Lake.

What your specialist Mastermind subject?

That's easy…Formula 1

What is always in your fridge?

Champagne and peanut butter (there's a story behind this, that only my wife can answer).

What's your simple philosophy of life?

Never ask people to do something that you wouldn't do yourself.

What's your favourite film?

Casino Royale.

What was your first job?

Cleaning company vehicles at the age of 12, which of course isn't legal to work at that age today. Although, I must add, it didn't do me any harm!

What is your most treasured possession?

Again, this is very easy to answer, my amazing wife Clare, my children and family.

Who do you admire most?

Adrian Newy - Formula 1 Designer along with the volunteers at Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR) - TMJ proudly donated and manufactured their new HQ just off the A14 at Woolpit.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Sports cars.

What do you like about yourself most?

My positivity.

What's your worst character trait?

Frustratingly, having no patience.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Lake Garda, Rome, we love Italy and the snow-covered mountains of the Three Valleys, France. Skiing is a must in the Taylor household.

Best day of your life?

Flying a Spitfire plane, which has been on my 'Bucket List'. In 2018 for my 60th this became a reality.

What's your favourite breakfast?

Smoked salmon and poached eggs.

What's your favourite tipple?

Gin & tonic.

What's your hidden talent?

Spotting the good in people.

When were you most embarrassed?

Getting drunk on my cousin's stag night and being sick all over him in the car. Not a pleasant sight, not a pleasant memory.

What's your earliest memory?

Losing a shoe at school.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight.

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I'm very observant.

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

I was told I'd never be able to run my own business; it drives me every day now. Today we turnover £36 million. I marvel at seeing the beautiful work created with such skill and care in Suffolk, adorning some of the most iconic buildings in the world.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.

I enjoy the countryside and Suffolk people, who I have found to be generally honest, hardworking and most importantly reliable.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

Believe in your vision. The

most important part of communication is listening. Always have respect for more experienced people and employ people with enthusiasm and that are smarter than you. Always make time for your family and yourself, that's something I consider to be very important.

At TMJ Interiors our apprentices have proven to be the foundation of our evolving team and we are now recruiting for summer 2020. We would love to hear from you if you're interested to learn more https://tmjinteriors.com/apprenticeships/

If you have an interesting story, to be considered for my Q & A, do please email me gina@hallfarmfornham.com

Follow Gina @geewizzgee1

The man behind St Edmundsbury Cathedral's fabulous ceiling

James Taylor Managing Director of TMJ Interiors, a high-end commercial and residential joinery firm based in Bildeston Suffolk and London. James founded TMJ in 1981, today he has over 190 highly skilled employees. TMJ Interiors have worked on many impressive buildings, including Windsor Castle, Bloomberg's HQ in London, The Royal Opera House, The Olympic Park to St Edmundsbury Cathedral's fabulous ceiling, hence gaining a reputation as industry leaders with their specialist joinery and interior bespoke 'fit-outs'. The 'official opening' of their new Technology and Apprentice Training Centre takes place on Friday February 28. As well as his passion for business, James is a family man. With the other love of his life being Motorsport, he is also a racing fanatic. Here he tells us all about his East Anglian life.

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I'm a very proud Suffolk born and bred guy. On a personal level it's where my wife Clare and my three children, Oliver, Harriet and Lucy live. On a professional level, it is where my business TMJ Interiors is based in Bildeston. People are often left surprised that our 'local company', with local, very skilled people, undertake fantastic projects in some of the most prestigious businesses and buildings in the UK and indeed the world.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

Walking the dog in the countryside, I often smile reflecting how fortunate I am that I live and work in such a beautiful part of the world.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most about living here?

The fact that we have been promised our trains will be upgraded for the last 30 years…

What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

Without question Maison Bleu in Bury St Edmunds. We are also fortunate to have the Bildeston Crown close by.

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

A BBQ at home with friends and family in the summer.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

Bury St Edmunds Cathedral - looking at the amazing ceiling in the tower, that our team at TMJ helped create.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

Springtime walking, which marks the end of dull and gloomy winter days, plus the daylight hours are thankfully longer too. When it comes to events, The Suffolk Show is firmly in our family calendar and we enjoy going along to the Family Festival Race Day at Newmarket. The first Sunday of September is one of our favourites with The Classic and Sports Cars by the Lake.

What your specialist Mastermind subject?

That's easy…Formula 1

What is always in your fridge?

Champagne and peanut butter (there's a story behind this, that only my wife can answer).

What's your simple philosophy of life?

Never ask people to do something that you wouldn't do yourself.

What's your favourite film?

Casino Royale.

What was your first job?

Cleaning company vehicles at the age of 12, which of course isn't legal to work at that age today. Although, I must add, it didn't do me any harm!

What is your most treasured possession?

Again, this is very easy to answer, my amazing wife Clare, my children and family.

Who do you admire most?

Adrian Newy - Formula 1 Designer along with the volunteers at Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR) - TMJ proudly donated and manufactured their new HQ just off the A14 at Woolpit.

What is your biggest indulgence?

Sports cars.

What do you like about yourself most?

My positivity.

What's your worst character trait?

Frustratingly, having no patience.

Where is your favourite holiday destination?

Lake Garda, Rome, we love Italy and the snow-covered mountains of the Three Valleys, France. Skiing is a must in the Taylor household.

Best day of your life?

Flying a Spitfire plane, which has been on my 'Bucket List'. In 2018 for my 60th this became a reality.

What's your favourite breakfast?

Smoked salmon and poached eggs.

What's your favourite tipple?

Gin & tonic.

What's your hidden talent?

Spotting the good in people.

When were you most embarrassed?

Getting drunk on my cousin's stag night and being sick all over him in the car. Not a pleasant sight, not a pleasant memory.

What's your earliest memory?

Losing a shoe at school.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Phil Collins - In the Air Tonight.

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I'm very observant.

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

I was told I'd never be able to run my own business; it drives me every day now. Today we turnover £36 million. I marvel at seeing the beautiful work created with such skill and care in Suffolk, adorning some of the most iconic buildings in the world.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.

I enjoy the countryside and Suffolk people, who I have found to be generally honest, hardworking and most importantly reliable.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?

Believe in your vision. The

most important part of communication is listening. Always have respect for more experienced people and employ people with enthusiasm and that are smarter than you. Always make time for your family and yourself, that's something I consider to be very important.

At TMJ Interiors our apprentices have proven to be the foundation of our evolving team and we are now recruiting for summer 2020. We would love to hear from you if you're interested to learn more https://tmjinteriors.com/apprenticeships/If you have an interesting story, to be considered for my Q & A, do please email me gina@hallfarmfornham.com Follow Gina @geewizzgee1

Want to be an apprentice?

TMJ Interiors offer a selection of Apprenticeships in a variety of departments (Design, QuESH, Purchasing, Accounting and in our Joinery Workshop).

Their Workshop Apprentices undertake an established 3-year programme, successfully achieving an NVQ Diploma in Level 2 and 3 in Wood Occupations (Construction) Architectural Joinery.

Working alongside experienced Joiners, often previous Apprentices themselves, the new Apprentices have an opportunity to work on live, prestigious projects whilst learning and enhancing their skills. Contact Cheryl Hardacre, Training & Development Manager, she would love to hear from you on 01449 743 339.

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