Trudy Long runs the engraving shop at RAF Mildenhall, which just moved from the Bob Hope Community Center to Building 442.

Trudy Long runs the engraving shop at RAF Mildenhall, which just moved from the Bob Hope Community Center to Building 442. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

Whether you need an award, a cricket bat or even a piece of fruit engraved at RAF Mildenhall, Trudy Long is the person to see. Recently, her engraving shop moved from the Bob Hope Community Center to a bigger shop inside Building 442. The shop’s shift is part of an ongoing arts and crafts consolidation on base, which, at the end of this year, is scheduled to offer embroidering, framing and instruction classes as well.

What sort of things do you do in this one-person shop?

We can engrave onto woods, acrylics, glassware and metals. We also print logos onto T-shirts.

What kinds of objects are usually engraved here?

There are awards, nameplates and cricket bats. People can bring in their own items as well, as long as it’s flat and it can stay still.

What’s the most popular item?

Cricket bats. A large engraved bat is $49, and a small is $30. Then the awards, acrylics and glassware run roughly around $40.

What kind of tools do you use to engrave?

We have laser engravers, including a rotary engraver, which will engrave circular glassware and things like that.

How big can an object be to be engraved?

It can be up to 24 inches by 18 inches and about one foot thick.

What was the oddest thing that you engraved?

I never engraved them, but we have a lot of people that ask for knives and swords. We won’t do it because of health and safety just in case we get cut. Other than that, we’ve tried crazy things like an apple or banana to see how well the engraver can cope with different objects.

I’m guessing the engraved food was for training purposes only — or did someone actually order it?

Yeah, it was just to see what the machine could do. It was fantastic. They came out really well. [Laughing]

Do you have any Valentine’s Day-related engraving orders that you’re working on?

We have an offer right now of teddy bears with [customized] T-shirts. We had a couple of engraved awards, believe it or not, that guys bought for their wives with their own poems on them.

How far in advance should people put in an engraving order?

Most people presume that they can have it on the next day. We offer a five-day turnaround to people, if not sooner. There’s also a $20 express fee for orders to be done within 24 hours. People can call 238-4101 or e-mail me at to place an order.

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