Fifty years old… it’s hard to believe but MJ Hillson has just celebrated half a century in business. I’ve been part of the firm for 27 of those years, although my memories of my dad’s business stretch back even further than that: I can vividly recall going into the “shed”, the company’s office in our back garden, watching dad and my grandad working hard, and when we expanded to the site we’re on today, I remember coming in to help in the joinery workshop or wash down the company tipper truck!
I’m incredibly proud of the work my dad has put into building the business and the other companies in the Hillson Group, creating a culture that supports training and innovation and sharing his determination with us to make the firm such a success. In order to celebrate dad’s work and 50 years of dedication – and his own 70th birthday – my sister and I recently organised a party for the whole company.
Training is a huge part of what we do – currently we have 28 trainees on the books but we’ve trained dozens and dozens of carpenters down the years, and at our birthday celebration there was a massive round of applause for Bob Swords and Allan McKevaney, both Hillson employees for 43 years and responsible for so much successful training. I am full of admiration for the work Bob and Allan have done for us — they even had the patience to train me, 27 years ago!
As we think about the future – not only as a specialist fit-out company but also part of a family of businesses that includes property development and timber-frame building – I am looking forward to seeing the Hillson Group go from success to success, taking my dad’s commitment to training and high-quality work into each new project we take on.