“Greenhouses of Quality”

In the early 1960s the firm produced a 12-page catalogue entitled “Greenhouses of Quality”, which today, appears as a very unassuming, almost self-deprecating and somewhat apologetic brochure.

 

 

Inside, it contains 17 black and white photographs of some of their more recent horticultural buildings, dating from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s. The most striking feature is that most of structures could have been built any time over the previous 80 years and most would not have looked out of place alongside structures built by the firm in the 1880s and 1890s.

All the structures, including plant houses, conservatories, peach houses, vinery and orangeries, except two were for private customers; the exceptions being a series of greenhouses and frames (100ft. x 20ft. plant house, 100ft. x 12ft. plant house, 100ft. x 12ft. propagation/plant house, 52ft. x 12ft., warm orchid house, 42ft. x 18ft. Cymbidium house, 4 heated frames and 4 cold frames) for the Bristol, Clifton & West of England Zoological Society in Bristol and a 24ft. x 19ft. span plant house built at the Towers Hospital, Leicester.

Whilst none of the private customers were listed, the back page catalogued 51 corporate clients, for whom they had completed work for during the previous few years. Almost exclusively municipal and allied organizations, including Urban District Councils County Councils City Corporations, City and County Boroughs, Ministry of Works, Hospital Groups and Crown Estate Commissioners:

  • Battersea Borough Council
  • Bedford College for Women,
  • Borough of Ashton-Under-Lyne
  • Borough of Battersea
  • Borough of Chelmsfield
  • Borough of Havering
  • Borough of lpswich
  • Borough of Maiden & Coombe
  • Borough of Mitcharn
  • Borough of Nelson
  • Borough of Oldbury
  • Borough of Poplar
  • Borough of Ramsgate
  • Borough of Thornaby-on-Tees
  • Borough of West Ham
  • Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society
  • Cheadle and Gatley U.D.C.
  • City and County of Brístol
  • City of Hereford
  • County Borough of Croydon
  • County Borough of Preston
  • Crown Estates Commissioners, London
  • Edward Webb & Son (Stourbridge) Ltd
  • Glenfrith Hospital, Leicester
  • Gloucester Corporation
  • Hackenthorpe Secondary Modern School
  • Kearsley U.D.C.
  • Middlesex Hospital, Highgate
  • Ministry of Works Greenhouses at the Experimental and Research Station at Turners Hill, Cheshunt
  • North of England Zoological Society, Chester
  • Nottingham University
  • Oxford University Dept., of Forestry and Botany
  • Regents Park, London
  • Ripley Secondary Modern
  • Rothwell U.D.C.
  • Runcorn R.D.C.
  • School of Agriculture, Cambridge
  • Sheffield Corporation
  • Sherwood Hospital, Nottingham
  • South Ockenden Group Hospital
  • South-West Middlesex Hospital Group
  • St. Michael’s Theological College, Llandaff
  • Stoke on Trent Corporation
  • Stourbridge Sec. Modern School
  • The Grove School, Caversham, Berkshire
  • The Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain
  • Towers Hospital, Leicester
  • U.D. of Merton and Morden
  • U.D.C. of Hornchurch
  • U.D.C. of Wednesbury
  • West Suffolk County Council

This was an area which the firm had, since the early 1950s, specifically targeted and very successfully.

The firm also targeted commercial growers producing a series of 100ft. plus long greenhouses suitable for the commercial trade rather than private or municipal clients. On occasions, the firm paid the timber merchant to cut the wood to size and dispatch it directly to site for erection.