John Taylor commenced work in September 1958, working for a firm of general builders and undertakers, his ambition was to become a carpenter and joiner and for as long as he could remember he had this desire, probably bred into him, as tracing back 5 generations to the 18th Century the Taylor family were in business as builders, undertakers and timber merchants.
Johns early days at work for the first seven/eight months were involved with the bricklaying side, working with a bricklayer mainly on repair and restoration of older buildings.
He still wanted to be an apprentice carpenter, but there appeared to be no opening, however he was persuaded to take up painting and decorating and for the next five to six months, worked with a foreman painter who gave him 90% of the preparation work and about 10% of the application of the paint. Not content with this and feeling he needed more of a challenge and having expressed this to his employer, he eventually got on a City and Guilds carpentry and joinery course in the autumn of 1959. For the next three years he studied the course at the Norwich City College, on day release and evening classes, finally taking his intermediate City and Guilds in 1963 and passing this with a first class pass.
The City and Guilds Craft Final Certificate was a further two year course, however as other parts of his life were requiring attention i.e. engagement and subsequent marriage, he concentrated more intently on the course and completed the Certificate in just one year, with a first class pass in 1964.
From 1964 – 1970 John worked with the same building company with whom he had been an apprentice and spent the majority of his time on repair, maintenance and refurbishment work to mainly old properties, sometimes in a two man gang or with two other colleagues. They were left generally to get on with the job and because of this all of the trades helped each other. Due to this and because John had a keen interest in other trades such as, bricklaying, roofing, plastering, plumbing and ground-works as well as his own trade, his activities were never dull, bearing in mind also that they were often called off the job to become involved in the undertaking side of the business, from making Coffins to digging graves.
From 1966 – 1967 John built his first home, a bungalow which he carried out in his spare time.
John had been contemplating for some time, going on his own and becoming self-employed, so in March 1970 he parted from his own employer and set up John F Taylor Builders.
The local town of Diss, where he would be based was a hard place to break into, being dominated by two or three well established and well thought of Contractors, his late employers being one of them.
However he obtained quite a large amount of work, via a man who was retiring and lived at Bacton near Stowmarket and he ended up doing five quite major jobs in the Finningham and Bacton area.
By 1971 John had a former colleague join him as a self employed carpenter, then later in 1971 he took on his first employee, who to date is still with the Company.
In 1974 a small builder in Diss, whom John knew retired and his joiner, a man of 62 years old then came to work for him and they operated from a redundant Piggery, where John set up a small joinery shop, by this time he had three employees.
The business continued to grow until it became evident that larger premises would be required, so in 1986 the present home of John Taylor Builders was purchased in Shelfanger Road, this had been a Builders Yard since 1950 and business continued to grow with more employees and an even wider spread of activities, some new build but mainly John’s passion and speciality, the repair and restoration to listed Buildings and Churches.
In January 2003, a Limited Company was formed, with John and his wife currently being shareholders. This obviously brought a lot of additional work and also due to the size and demand of the business to continue to keep it up to date with modern demands, John’s son; Jonathan joined the company as Office Manager.
To date the Company employs 15 highly skilled individuals, ranging from Carpenters and Joiners to Bricklayers and Plumbers. The Company prides itself on its reputation and the ability of its employees to keep almost everything in-house, making it more efficient to the customer both in work practice and quality.
“The Company specialises in period properties, churches and listed Buildings, ranging from summerhouses, extensions, kitchens and library’s to name but a few, in the last two years we have been increasingly involved in making and if necessary designing specialist furniture including cabinets, kitchen Units and Libraries, to a customers personal specification, the beauty of this is that because we try to keep everything in house, we can work closely with the customer and they can follow the progress of their design or idea, right from the drawing through to the fitting and subsequent finished project. This is an area of our business that has become increasingly popular.” Jonathan Taylor