Timber and building materials specialist marks centenary

TIMBER and building materials supplier George Hill celebrated its 100th year with customers and suppliers.

The Oldham firm was founded in 1919 by George Hill, who was a Saddleworth farmer, and is now managed by the fourth generation of the family. George Hill set up the business after visiting the United States before the First World War.

The business moved to its current site, off Ashton Road, in the 1960s to make way for Oldham town centre redevelopments. It also has branches at Bolton, Sale and Nelson.

Today, the company management includes managing director Andy Taylor, supplies manager William Hill, general manager Paul Greenwood, marketing manager Laura Morgan and company secretary Jayne Hill.

Jayne, who has been with the firm for 25 years, said: “We wanted to mark the centenary with customers and suppliers. The company has been here for 100 years and plays an important part in the local economy and the wider community. We’re still investing in the business and creating new jobs and working with many other businesses.

“We held a celebration event with refreshments, 100th anniversary cupcakes and prize draws. We invited suppliers along such as Oldham Electricals, De Walt, Toolbank, Kreg, Illbruk sealants, Carlton and Easytrim.

“The business has grown a lot over the years and now has almost 50 staff across the branches. Our typical account holders are SME builders, joiners, tradespeople and landscapers. But a growing number are women who increasingly work in the timber, building, design and property sectors including running their own businesses.

“Our own staff include men and women of all ages. We have young people working with long-serving and highly experienced staff, such as Alan Castree. Alan is our works manager and has been with us for 40 years. We like to keep staff and believe we are a good employer.

“We do most of our training in-house but also work with providers, such as Oldham Training Centre, for business administration, forklift trucks, first aid and health-and-safety courses.”

Marketing manager Laura Morgan said: “Regarding timber, we sell both soft and hardwoods. In the past, we used to sell a lot of meranti as a hardwood but now oak is the main hardwood. Our timber is really good quality and we provide a range of cutting and treatment services.

“Environmental issues are much more to the fore now. There is a lot of interest in using more timber in construction. The sustainability and flexibility of wood is a big attraction. Trade magazines are giving much more coverage to wooden-framed buildings and timber for structural, interior and exterior requirements.”

Earlier this year, George Hill was named Business of the Year (£5m to £10m turnover) at the Oldham Business Awards.

Jayne said the company and staff support a number of good causes including Dr Kershaw’s Hospice and Francis House Children’s Hospice. This has included helping with children’s Easter chick events, Dr Kershaw’s Colour Blast fun run and the Strictly Kershaw’s dance competition. Laura Morgan and Helena Coburn took part in the Colour Blast and Helena also entered Strictly Kershaw’s.

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