1903: A.J. Charlton & Sons Ltd was established in 1903 by Frank Charlton, who decided to move from farming to hauling timber. Originally formed to supply timber pit props to the nearby coal mines around Norton Radstock, Charltons used to cut and shape the wood at the family run sawmill before transporting it by horse and cart to the pit head. As a family run business, with a 100 year heritage, we have had many significant developments.
1914 – 1923: During World War 1, Ferdinand Charlton, his brother Edward (and Charlton’s best horses) were called up to fight for King and Country. Thankfully Ferdinand returned safely and purchased a coal business to add to the pit prop work. This made return trips from the pit heads more profitable – coal was purchased from the colliery in exchange for timber using a barter system.
1924 – 1950: In 1929, Ferdinand’s second son, Anthony James, later to become Chief Executive of A.J. Charlton & Sons was born. In 1943, A.J. Charlton left Frome School at the age of 14 to work with horses in the woods and deliver coal and timber.
1951 – 1978: A.J. Charlton and his wife Edna had four sons, Michael, Peter, David and Adrian. All four boys eventually became directors of the family business in 1976 when a limited company was formed. In 1978, an additional sawmill was purchased in Ubley, but as it was in poor condition it was replaced with a new sawmill. This same year new offices and a workshop were built to expand production of gates and a retail department officially opened to sell Charltons’ products; timber, gates flooring and furniture.
1979 – 1998: In 1979, A.J. Charlton & Sons increased its fleet of modern lorries to over 10 vehicles. A Timber Trade Centre based in Radstock was launched in 1985 to supply timbers, mouldings, patio doors, conservatories, joinery, gates, fencing and craft supplies. This created an additional 15 jobs.
1980 – Present Day: Charltons supply Glastonbury Festival with timber for festival furniture and landscape features as well as wood chips to help deal with the mud!
1999 – 2000: In 1999, A.J. Charlton & Sons Ltd is identified as one of the top three gate companies in Britain and also markets in Belgium, France and Eire. The Sawmills also became the largest hardwood sawmill in the UK. In 2000 A.J. Charlton & Sons Ltd was granted the Royal Warrant for supply of gates and timber to the Royal households.
2000 – 2011: Today, Charltons are pleased to supply various National Trust properties and the National Arboretum at Westonbirt. Charltons have also recently supplied the BBC Gardeners World programme with featheredge fencing.
2012: Our new brand is a sign of Charltons, a modern, professional company with a rich history. The tree rings are reflective of the generations of the Charltons family since the birth of the company in 1903 – as new generations join the company, rings can be added to depict our natural growth.
2014: Export To Australia
2014: Professional Builder Magazine Top Product Award
2014: Somerset Family Business Of The Year