Scotts of Thrapston
The Early Years
Now a national company, Scotts started out as the brainchild of a rather unsuccessful fortune hunter, namely James Scott.
James established the business in 1920, and it is still a family business today. He returned home to Thrapston from the Canadian Gold Rush, at the turn of the 19th Century, and subsequently founded the now long established family business.
He employed experienced skilled cabinet makers who had learnt their craft making timber wheelbarrows, ladders and chicken coops in support of the war effort during the years from 1914 – 1918.
James and his employees manufactured a wide range of timber products, including agricultural appliances and small buildings for poultry and livestock.
The Late 1930’s
In the late 1930’s, at the beginning of the Second World War, the company’s skilled craftsmen were in demand to help the nation become self sufficient.
It was also around this time that the company started designing timber summerhouses for the British gentry. Some of these early Scotts garden buildings are still standing in the gardens of Brigstock’s finest houses to this day.
Douglas, James’ son, joined the business around this time. He was considered more ambitious than his father and he was determined to make a name for Scotts within the poultry industry. The company began making a variety of new poultry products, as well as starting to manufacture dog kennels, Wendy houses, trailers, bus shelters and kiosks.
Ambitious and determined as he was, Douglas was not an exponent of effective marketing. This vital aspect was added with the arrival of a third generation of the Scotts family, David, Douglas’ son.
David Scott, the current chairman, joined a year before the death of James in 1962, and has kept the family principles and drive alive, combining them with ideas from a modern, corporate world and building Scotts into what it is today.
The joinery division was added into the company in 1972 and a roof trusses division in 1976, the year Douglas retired.
The site of the current purpose built factory, which was Douglas’s last project before retirement, will be remembered by many as the Bridge Street Railway Station.
David developed a sales network across the UK and overseas and launched new products for the equestrian market. The expansion of the range of summerhouses has led to a formal relationship with The National Trust.
Scotts is a regular exhibitor at many of the country’s premier events, including the RHS Flower Shows and Burghley Horse Trials.
Although David is still very much involved in the business, James, the fourth generation of the Scotts family, is looking forward to overseeing the next chapter in the life of this successful family business.
2011 – Information from Scotts of Thrapston
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