Meet Alastair Simms, the last master cooper.

He’s had his own cooperage for two years now, having been freelance at Wadworth’s Brewery before, but he’s looking forward to having an apprentice next year. “The Worshipful Company are trying to get me one,” he says. “They’re just waiting for funding now. My mate Camilla says to ask Charles about it.” Charles and Camilla as in the Charles and Camilla? I ask, taken aback. “The very same,” he replies. “She thinks he’ll be interested,” Simms adds, in the manner of a man who’s no stranger to the Royal Family.