Having safely passed security procedures at reception, known internally as ‘The Police Lodge’, we find ourselves outside again in a leafy, landscaped area with buildings all around us.
As you leave the safety of the Police Lodge, you are immediately presented with a live digital noticeboard that displays up-to-the-minute Health & Safety statistics. This serves to remind you that you have entered an industrial environment and that adequate precautions need to be taken.
Safety is our main priority, and we are very proud of the Master Tools team who notched up 7 years without a lost-time accident! We are one of a very few COMAH (Control of Major Accidents Hazards) sites in this area and we hold SO 14001 Environmental Management accreditation. Responsibility towards our local and global environment is a priority on our corporate agenda.
Looking around the grounds, with The Police Lodge behind us, we can see the Melting, Rolling and Blanking (MRB) building and the Precious Coin Unit (PCU) to our left, the canteen up ahead and the large Main Admin building that houses the Deputy Master of the Mint’s office, the circulating coin team and The Royal Mint Museum alongside it. On permanent display in the foyer are several historic items, but more of that in the next chapter!
In the distance the huge warehouse that stores millions of coins ready to be distributed to over 60 countries opens its cavernous doors as an assortment of lorries and forklift trucks busy themselves unloading crates and boxes. Behind that lies the Coin Press Room (CPR – we’re big on acronyms here), where circulating coins can be struck at up to 750 coins a minute, and Brilliant Uncirculated coins (a superior quality) at up to 300 a minute. Opposite is the Marketing building, standing out with its windows emblazoned with posters of The Queen’s Diamond Coronation!
Moving between buildings, strictly keeping to zebra crossings, it’s always possible that you might meet and chat to the Deputy Master of the Mint, the Queen’s Assay Master or the Chief Engraver. In spite of the impressive titles, everyone’s accessible and we always say hello to each other.
Ceremonies and Flags
Two important monuments feature in the central area:
First is the monument in the image below. This records the opening of the site by Her Majesty The Queen in 1968, which makes 2013 our 45th year in Llantrisant, Wales. I feel a celebration coming on…
The second monument is the War Memorial that commemorates our fallen colleagues in both World Wars. The Deputy Master of the Mint lays a wreath here every November at a Remembrance Day service, when the two-minute silence is solemnly observed.
The flag poles are sited in this area too – The Royal Mint and the Welsh ‘Dragon’ (Y Ddraig Goch) flags are regularly flown, plus that of any VIP foreign visitors as a welcoming courtesy to them. Quite often we hold international events with guests from several countries, so the flags become a very colourful display!
Several pieces of historic machinery brought from our previous homes at the Tower of London and Tower Hill have been placed in the grounds of the 34-hectare site. They are a powerful reminder every day of our heritage and the traditional skills passed down through generations of Royal Mint workers.
Don’t miss the next instalment – You would not expect to find the treasures that lie behind the anonymous door in an ordinary office corridor. We look inside The Royal Mint Museum.