Walker Bros History
WALKER BROS TIMBER & BUILDING SUPPLIES – THE LOCAL TIMBER EXPERTS.
Walker Bros was originally established when brothers David and Alex Walker purchased Tom White's Sawmill at Ourimbah Creek in September 1933.
Dave fed the mill with logs via his bullock team and Alex maintained the steam driven sawmill. Times were tough in the heart of the Great Depression. The mill was moved closer to the source of logs in Mangrove Creek. Dave and Alex moved their families into Gosford and camped during the week.
By the late 1930s tractors and trucks had changed the need for the mill to be sited in the forest so the land was acquired in North Gosford nearer to the railway and employees. Electricity arrived in town just in time so the steam boiler gave way to modern technology. 1939 saw the establishment of the business on our current site.
During the 1940's a generation of returning soldiers formed the core of the staff. All working together to build their homes and provide for their young families. In 1946 Peter Walker joined his father in the mill, to be followed by his brother Brian whose primary love was the forest side of the enterprise. During the next decade the business thrived with the local area and expanded into imported timbers.
In 1961 Dave Walker decided to retire to concentrate on his farm at Yango and the ownership of the business passed to the next generation of Alex's family. 1969 saw the partnership structure change to a private company - P&B Walker Bros Pty Ltd with Peter Walker as the Managing Director. This structure has endured even though suffering from the lows of losing our founding father Alex in 1981 and Brian in 1991.
1995 saw another major blow with a massive fire swept through all the storage sheds, destroying almost all our mobile fleet and machining capabilities. The staff banded together closing for only one trading day and with great help from our local community and suppliers over the next twelve months our premises were rebuilt to the modern plant we have today.
During the new decade nature has continued to test the fortitude of our business – wind blew the roof off the old sawmill and it is now replaced with a much more functional product storage shed; hail damaged all the new shed roofs and these were all replaced. Hopefully we are too high for flooding but you never know.
Peter retained an active interest in the business up until his death in July 2009.
The family tradition has continued – Keith Sparrow our Operations Manager is the third member of his family to work with our business. His father commenced as a driver in 1951, his brother John was the manager during the 1970’s. The Sparrow family have amassed a huge 100 years service to our company. Frank Pemberton served an outstanding 55 years during which time his brother Alf and their sons also contributed.
Currently we have four members of the Walker family on the Board of Directors - they just happen to be all females which is a real change for our business but once again proving we are able to adapt to changing circumstances.
Customer loyalty reflects the same story with second and third generation of families now using our services.