150 Years in the Timber Industry

wlw logo v6 1865-2015There are not many companies that can boast 150 years in business !! But we can!

www.wlwest.co.uk

Donald & Cecil West 1930s with mother at New rd site
Donald  with Cecil West and Mary, their mother in the wheelbarrow

This year we are celebrating 150 years in the timber industry. We have standing timber records back to 1865 (see below), these were used to record the dimensions of the round timber being purchased. To be honest, it is probable that these were not the first records, our current family members can trace their Great Grandfather – James West, back to the 1851 census. He was aged 52 and described as a ‘Wood Reve’ – which, according to Collins Dictionary was a ‘Steward responsible for wlw timber records 004a wood’. 

So ….. the West family have been in the timber industry for a long time. Indeed of Walter Luke West’s 15 children, yes you read right, 15 children, 6 of the sons were wlw timber records 001involved with the business at some time. Latterly various members of the family have been involved, some long term and some dipping in and out at various times.

  

Sawmill Severals road midhurst 1912_1918
An early sawmill 1912-1918

The foundations of the current company were laid in the 1920/30’s by Walter Luke West and Cecil Owen West – Father and Son and Grandfather and Uncle of two of the current directors. Initially working in the woods, the early premises were located on a corner of the railway yard in Midhurst. working with steam to power the saws. Slowly additional ground was purchased, with Dr Richard Beeching MP increasing the availability of land with his cuts of the railways. We eventually bought the whole  site and developed our sawmilling there until 1986 when we moved to our current location.

Our directors have included members of the family for the whole of our history. Family members are still on the board of directors which also includes Simon Smith as one of our Joint MD’s and Heather Rickards who is our Accounts Director, both of which have over 20 years each with the company.

WLW Steam engine 1951 being towed to Ansells
Our static steam engine being towed to a new owner

I had a look at the current team here, and in particular the members that are involved in the timber production. Of the 16 people involved in the various stages of buying, selecting, converting and manufacturing timber products, there is 469 years of experience in our industry.

Unloading at New Road 1960s
Unloading Oak in the 1960’s

The timber industry in the UK has changed over the years, that has meant changing with the times. We focus very much in working with our clients on projects, many of which we work with for many months working through to project conclusion. Our portfolio is wide reaching these days, spend a few minutes having a look at our website – http://www.wlwest.co.uk it includes machined and profiled timber, cladding, worktops and bartops, bespoke gates, beam timber and much more.

What is clear, if you have a project that includes timber, having a chat with us is a good idea. We would love to get involved with your projects.

 Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales Team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

Firewood Firewood Firewood – at a great price.

www.wlwest.co.uk

Its been a mild winter so far this year, and fires and woodburners haven’t been as busy as they may have in previous years. But we are sure that a cold spell is on the way. All the more reason to stock up on Firewood.

small firewood

We have an abundance of small offcuts. These are a by-product of our profile cutting mill and are ideal for Wood Burners. The stock originally was kiln dried. I can offer this at £5.00 a boot load, yes you read correctly £5.00 a boot load – while stocks last. Other quantities by negotiation. Pop in during opening hours and fill your boot.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales Team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

New Planing facilities – The Cube

www.wlwest.co.uk

DSCN4205

We have recently installed another Weinig machine. The CUBE is a foursided planer with size capibilities of: Width 15-260mm and thickness of 5-160mm. Made by Weinig, it’s simplicity in design and operation means that turn around times for planing can be improved dramatically by comparison to using our profile moulders.

Have you any planing jobs that you would like priced?
Give our sales team a call.

 Just a taster of some of the other areas we can help you with.

Hand Cleft Oak and Larch Shingles
We are working with a Bavarian family company to bring this superb product to the UK. If you have a project that would suit the natural beauty of shingles, give us a call

IMG_8057WM

Handmade Bespoke Gates
We have been making bespoke entrance gates for decades. We use traditional construction methods to produce the gate to our customers design. Whether it is to a new design or copy an existing gate, we can help.

Convex Entrance Gates 003

Bespoke Hardwood Worktops
This is another area that we have majored in for a couple of decadess. We concentrate on making those bespoke sizes or shapes that are not available from mass market sources. Have you a project coming up?

PRO Site 001_2

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales Team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

Young People in Furniture

www.wlwest.co.uk

I had the pleasure again to attend Chichester College’s Construction Award evening recently. I make no apologies for repeating what some of you may have heard me say before, what amazing ideas and quality work.IMG_2255

We have had the pleasure of sponsoring Chichester College Furniture section for nearly fifteen years and sponsoring the Best Furniture Newcomer 1st Year for over a decade. The quality of the students work is amazing, and the ideas of some of them – mind blowing. The student tIMG_2256hat won our prize this year, Liam Maskell, is an apprentice at Rolls Royce Motor Cars in nearby Goodwood. Liam is a very ambitious and skilful young man, who was a pleasure to spend some time with. He produced a very delicate occasional table in Oak and Walnut veneer. He tells me that he hopes to become a member of Rolls Royce’s management development program in due course, I have no doubt he will be successful, and wish him every success.

I had a look around the college end of year furniture show, again, great ideas and quality. I was pleased to see that the winner of our prize last year – James Millard is continuing his training into the IMG_2252second year and still producing great items, a couple pictured here. The one piece that really took my eye was a beautiful barrel topped box made by one of the second year students, brilliant workmanship.

Chichester College is certainly leading in the education field, with a number of their students taking part in the World Skills competition and winning! They were graded 7th in the UK last year, this year 4th!! Keep up the good work and working with industry.

W L West & Sons are truly proud to continue the relationship with Chichester College.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

Job Opportunities

www.wlwest.co.uk

Well this is a bit of a different blog. Business is definitely changing, albeit cautiously, so we have three Job Opportunities immediately available.

FULL TIME ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT

Fancy a challenge? We may have the opportunity for you. We are looking for someone for a split job role, part with our admin team and part with our sales team.
Do you have good telephone and keyboard skills? Good numeracy skills? Then give us a call, we’re waiting for you!!
You will be working with Word, Excel and Outlook, together with an industry standard software, skills in these products is an advantage, but training will be given.
Additional employee benefits available following a qualifying period.
 Email your CV to jobs@wlwest.co.uk or call 01798 861611 for further details

Job located at

 W L West & Sons Ltd
Selham, Petworth, West Sussex
GU28 0PJ

_____________________________________________

WOOD MACHINIST

Have you got a passion for wood and hardwoods in particular? Got wood machining skills? Do you want to learn?
We are looking for an enthusiastic person to join our wood machining workshop team. Woodworking and machining skills would be an advantage, but training can be given.
 Email your CV to jobs@wlwest.co.uk or call 01798 861611 for further details and an application form.

Job located at

 W L West & Sons Ltd

Selham, Petworth, West Sussex
GU28 0PJ

_____________________________________________

LEAD FENCE ERECTOR REQUIRED

Ideally skilled across the range of fences. Competitive rates of pay. Company van.
CSCS card preferred, but training will be given if required.
Please contact Martin or Chris on 01252 726391 or email: jobs@wlwest.co.uk

Job located at
PRO Fencing (a division of W L West & Sons Ltd)
Coxbridge Business Park, Alton Road, Farnham, GU10 5EH


Give us a call if any of these suit you.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

 

 

South Downs National Park – Where are we?

www.wlwest.co.uk

SD National Park signage Feb2014You’re not sure which part of the South Downs National Park that you are in? Follow our signs. We have the pleasure in working with the National Park Authority to provide signage across the national park.

Carefully crafted in our own workshops, as you can see from the photo, we can include logo’s. These signs are manufactured in Oak and will go a beautiful grey colour over time.

Keep your eye out for our signs, there will be more appearing soon. Cheriton School 011

If there is a sign that you would like us to create, give our sales team a call. From house signs & company signs to footpath signs. You might also think about us engraving the top rail of your gate when we make it for you. A good theft deterrent – gates have been stolen.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk

Great results from Surface Design Show

www.wlwest.co.uk

Rapold Surface Design Show 2014 023We have just returned from the Surface Design Show held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. @surfacethinking

The show opened at 6pm on Tuesday night (7 Feb) and closed yesterday at 5pm. We had taken a modestly sized stand to launch our relationship with Rapold GmbH. 

We have been talking to Harald Rapold about becoming his representative in the UK for some time. Rapold GmbH produce a Rapold Shingles 124fantastic Hand Cleft Roof or Wall Shingle product using skills dating back centuries. Based in Bavaria, they have access to a plentiful supply high quality timber with good continuity of supply. Straight grain very large Larch, tall, large Oak trees to name but two of the species they cleft for shingles.

Rapold Surface Design Show 2014 026In addition to that we displayed the unique Soul of Wood™  internal feature wall cleft timber wall product. This is available in Oak, American Black Walnut and White Fir currently. Special orders in other suitable species are available. This product is kiln dried and can be used in a number of different ways, indeed, limited only by the designers mind.

From the time of opening ’til the doors closed yesterday we had a constant flow of interesting visitors, great conversation, great interest and good comments. We were visited by Design Exchange magazine @demagazine , a publication with fine design focus. They ask North Seven Architect @northsevenarch to visit the show and select their top 10 favourite products. We are proud to say that Soul of Wood™ was selected as one of those products. We are extremely pleased with that accolade and the show in general.

Thank you to all of our visitors, we hope that we will be able to work with you very soon.

Don’t forget, for all of your hardwood and joinery softwood requirements…………………

Call our Sales team on 01798 861611 or email: sales@wlwest.co.uk