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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Cumbrian plastering firm celebrating 50 years in business

A plastering business which has transformed hundreds of buildings across Cumbria celebrates its golden anniversary next week.

Fowler firm photo
Back, from left, Jeff Fowler, Steve Fowler, Neil Fowler and Robert Latham. Front, from left, Mary Fowler, Arthur Fowler, Jim Fowler and Lesley Fowler

The family-run Fowler Brothers was set up by brothers Tom and Jim on June 18 1962 – joined later by youngest brother Arthur after he left the army – and they have worked on everything from homes to schools, shops, hospitals and sports clubs.

Jim, 78, and Arthur, 73, are now retired but have kept the business a real family affair, with sons, a nephew and daughter-in-law involved.

Jim said he remembered the early days “with a little van and a bag of cement.”

“I’d served my time and then went into the army, doing two years in Hong Kong,” he said.

“When I came out, it was 1957 and I started back at work with the same firm. Then I got married in 1959 and we went on our own in 1962. A bloke from Seascale got on to us to do a couple of jobs and it just went on from there.”

Arthur’s wife Mary, who was involved with book keeping, said they had adapted to changing times.

“The building trade has gone through many good and bad phases and we have always adapted to that,” she said.

“I suppose that is our secret, along with the quality and consistent standard of our work.”

The business, which was originally based in Senhouse Street, Workington, but has since moved to Distington, helped restore flood damaged properties after the floods in west Cumbria in 2009 and in Carlisle in 2005. Recent major jobs include Whitehaven golf club, Nelson Thomlinson school and Austin Friars, in Carlisle.

The business is now being carried on by Jim’s sons Neil, 45, from Wilton, Egremont, and his brother Jeff, 37, and Arthur’s son Steven, 34, of Camerton.

As well as the sons, the business, which employs eight people, also includes nephew Robert Latham, 24, and Neil’s wife Lesley.

The company has worked on housing estates across west Cumbria in Dearham, Whitehaven, Seascale, Cockermouth, High Harrington, Cleator Moor and Hensingham and into south west Scotland.

Jeff, speaking on behalf of the Fowler Brothers’ business, said he wanted to thank all their customers for their ‘support and loyalty.’

“We are incredibly proud that our family business, which bears our name, has been doing a good job for local people in west Cumbria for 50 years. Long may it continue,” he said.


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