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HOWARTH TIMBER & BUILDING SUPPLIES


Clockwise from top left: Howarth started life out as Hudson & Co, a small timber-milling company; Peter Howarth became chairman in 1951; the company’s New Holland dock; the company’s begiings are remembered in Hudson Yard, East Street; Andrew and Nicholas Howarth became joint mds in 1988.


the war in 1945, Hudson & Co were in a healthy position. However, the next few years had their challenges – more investment was needed to bring the timber yard up to date again, austerity hit in 1947 and timber felling was reduced alongside labour and machinery shortages. When George Walker died in 1951, it was time for change as Peter Howarth took the chair.


Time for change


In 1959 the Howarth family acquired all shares in the company. Peter Howarth became the driving force of the business, seeking opportunities for growth and acquisition to further strengthen the group he was creating. He made each acquisition after meeting the workforce and analysing the company’s financials. In 1964 Peter leased the derelict New Holland British Rail dock to import timber through.


The Howarth Timber Group was established in 1974. The group obtained and acquired


August 2020 www.buildersmerchantsjournal.net


more branches, purchased the New Holland dock from British Rail, established a window and door factory and Howarth glass. Peter Howarth died in 1988, leaving Nicholas Howarth and Andrew Howarth to be appointed as joint managing directors.


Coronavirus


The most recent and ongoing challenge faced by the group has been the UK lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak. Although the pandemic is not yet over, HTBS returned to work quickly and successfully with all necessary response measures in place to keep customers and staff safe.


Celebrating its 180-year anniversary this year, the company has worked through significant challenges. Throughout its time, the business has built on family values and a determination to be the best and most respected builders’ merchant in the industry, which has guided them for generations and continues to do so. BMJ


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