29 June 2020

100 years of achievement for Scotts of Thrapston

TRADA image

Northamptonshire timber product manufacturer and TRADA member Scotts of Thrapston has plenty to celebrate as 2020 marks its centenary.


The family business, which has a proud reputation of turning timber into a range of products, is well-known for its summerhouses, stables, American barns, garages, car barns, pavilions, roof trusses, joinery, engineered flooring and education buildings.


The company was founded in 1920 by James Scott, and had humble beginnings delivering tools and services to local farmers. The mantle then passed to Douglas Scott and the business is now run by the third and fourth generations, chairman David Scott and his son James, managing director.


David said: ‘Since my grandfather’s time, we have embraced modern technology to become the company we are today, creating attractive, innovative products and building a reputation that we are extremely proud of. We are a company engrained with a passion for the beauty of wood and have seen our product portfolio grow and develop over the decades.’


The business started out producing products such as wheelbarrows and ladders and offered a selection of agricultural buildings, including poultry houses.


Nowadays, that product range has grown and consolidated, seeing Scotts become a leading stable manufacturer in the UK, supplying products into the racing, show jumping, dressage and eventing worlds.


For nearly seven decades, the business has been at the forefront of summerhouse manufacture and produces a range of ethically sourced hardwood summerhouses, which was launched last year. The company is proud to be one of the longest exhibiting trade stands at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, first appearing in the mid-1960s. Scotts also has a strong timber engineering business and enjoys a solid reputation with housebuilders, from volume to self-builders.


James Scott added: ‘We understand timber; we are used to working with it. The continuation of merging new technology with traditional craftsmanship to produce products that stand the test of time will help the business not only survive but thrive into the next 100 years.’


As part of the centenary activities, the company has also carried out a corporate identity refresh to consolidate its digital presence, including updating its logo and branding to reflect the fact that the company is engrained with a passion for wood.


But that’s not the only thing Scotts of Thrapston is celebrating. 2020 also marks 25 years with the company for experienced sales manager Kathryn Morris.


Kathryn started out handling sales administration but quickly moved into sales and has built a solid career with the family business. She now leads summerhouse sales but has worked successfully with equestrian buildings as well.


‘When I started, I was handling sales admin for summerhouses and stables,’ Kathryn shared, ‘At that time there was just one summerhouse product, the Balmoral gazebo. Around 2004, I moved solely into summerhouse sales and absolutely love my job. It is a beautiful product and the customers are great and are always really excited about their summerhouses arriving. I enjoy working for Scotts and have always been made to feel part of the family and treated with respect.’


Attending trade and consumer shows plays a big role in Kathryn’s year, and she attended her first RHS Chelsea Flower Show within a week of starting with the business. Kathryn, who also goes to the Hampton Court Flower Show and Burghley Horse Trials with Scotts, added: ‘I have been to Chelsea every year apart from one year when I was on maternity leave and this year as it has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.


‘Shows are important as I think people need to see and touch a summerhouse and take away memories of it. People often place an order months, or even years later, but the show had sown a seed of what they wanted.


‘Some customers have come back 20 years later to replace a summerhouse and grown-up children want them for their own gardens as they remember our summerhouses from their childhoods, which is wonderful. People have also sent me photos of their gardens and updates on their summerhouses over the years. I enjoy building up a rapport with my customers and it is wonderful to see them enjoying their garden buildings.’


Managing director James Scott said: ‘Scotts just would not be Scotts without Kathryn keeping us all going. I have grown up with Kathryn and she is always keeping an eye out for me and the support she has offered me in my own journey through Scotts has been massively appreciated, from ‘teaboy’ through to my role as the managing director. This can also be seen in how she helps and supports the customers, not only at the point of sale but through the lifetime of many of the buildings she has sold.’


Chairman David Scott added: ‘Kathryn was the first person who was able to solely concentrate on summerhouses as they became a sizeable part of the company. We have countless letters of appreciation from customers praising her. She eats and sleeps summerhouses and has bags of energy and patience and does an excellent job.’


Visit Scotts of Thrapston