History of the Company after 1963
After Jessie passed away it was Carleton’s job to do the purchasing of trees and the administration, Stanley oversaw the running of the yard and did the sawing and final grading and Albert did all the splitting and initial grading.
The business was small but the firm still employed up to 25 men, this was before a lot of the mechanisation. Carleton, Albert and Stanley each had a son. The sons were David, Nicholas and Peter, they would all be involved in all aspects of the business. Large teams of men would go felling all over the country, motorways were non exisitant so journeys would take much longer which meant a lot of time away from home.
This photo shows Nick (at the back), Carleton (left) and Peter cutting a tree
All the trees were felled and sawn into lengths using a cross cut saw, sometimes with four men on the saw. All the rolls would be carried out on men’s shoulders and the lorries were loaded by hand. A crane was used to load the rolls that were too big to lift, this was fitted on the front of a lorry. Forklifts, chainsaws and other modern equipment has now taken on the job. In the 1950’s the yard moved into the middle of the village, there it continued to grow and the system of sawing the blades from the split clefts was started.
In 1971 David decided to emigrate to Australia. Again the company needed a larger site so the land in the middle of the village was sold for building and it was allowed by the council to move to the present site at Coles Farm.
By this time Peter had a son in the business but a tragedy struck in 1980 when Robert ( known as Bobby) was killed on his motorbike. This was a great blow to the company as Bobby was an integeral part of the business and a good friend to all.
Unfortunately Carleton Wright sadly passed away on 3rd March 2009 aged 96, he lived for the business and had a very interesting and good life, he is sadly missed by all the family and the business.
Peter Wright then passed away on 26th January 2010 at the age of 84, he retired at 65 and gave his working life to the company.
The family are still very much involved in the business. The business is run by the Chairman Nicholas Wright (Jessie’s Grandson) who has recently been awarded an MBE for Services to Industry, Jeremy Ruggles (Jessie’s Great Grandson) and Oliver Wright ( Nick’s son and Jessie’s Great Grand Son). The Company now produces more cricket bat blades than ever.
Family still involved in the business…
Nicholas Wright – Nick is Chairman and one of the Shareholders. Nick has worked for the family business for over 50 years and is currently heading up the tree purchasing operation and set planting along with his son Oliver. He has done all the jobs in the business from when he started, his knowledge of the whole process from start to finish is invaluable. He has a son and daughter and four grandchildren. He deals with many of the long standing clients growing trees for us, some of whom Nick has been dealing with for over 40 years.
Oliver Wright – Oliver is a Director and Nicks’s son. Joined the family business in 2006. He had been running a successful recruitment firm in London and Manchester. It was always Oliver’s intention to join the family business after 15 years gaining valuable experience in London. He has used his knowledge in carrying the business forward with Nick and Jeremy. He now runs all the tree purchasing, felling and planting operations with Nick, also overseeing another willow buyer. Oliver deals with thousands of clients throughout the UK who grow trees for us. Oliver has two children.
Jeremy Ruggles – Jeremy is a Director and shareholder and is Nick and Oliver’s cousin. Jeremy joined the business in 1986 after leaving school and being put through a business studies course by the Company at Chelmsford college. He has done all the jobs in the business to a certain extent but most importantly grades all the clefts to maintain a high standard, Jeremy also runs the production side of the business with his factory team and handles all the overseas customers. Jeremy has two children.