Boulton and Paul

by David L Preston

I am fascinated to see your Boulton & Paul buildings catalogue. I worked for this company, based in Norwich, up to their sale to Rugby group in 1997 (the company's 200th anniversary).

Luckily the rich history of Boulton & Paul has not been lost to the world. They built many different products, buildings for the British Empire, wire mesh fencing for the Australian rabbit plague, WW11 glider nose-coned (the Horsca), heavy tank carriers, aircraft (sold to Dowty Boulton Paul), the structure for the R101 airship and or course latterly steel structures and joinery products.

The Bridewell Museum in Norwich placed a dedicated exhibit representing the long history of Boulton & Paul soon after it's sale in 1997.
Included in this exhibit are many of the company's amazing catalogues. I was lucky enough to work with Bernard Khaler who had an amazing collection of these publications and gave me the privilege of looking at them. Some date from the 19th century.

As with all things, history marches on, the company was ultimately purchased from Rugby Group by an American corporation called Jeld-Wen who also have a very interesting history.

The company still operates from the Lowestoft, and Melton Mowbray sites occupied by Boulton & Paul for many years.
Boulton & Paul's Norwich factory site is now underneath the "Riverside Development" adjacent to the Train station and the Norwich City football ground (some 27 acres as I remember as a boy).

I hope my trip down memory lane has been of some interest.

Somehow ironically I'm trying to set up an outdoor structures business of my own.

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Apr 14, 2010
History - writ in a shed! - or a window.
by: Anonymous


Its realy nice to hear somebody talk so positively about their time with a company these days.

B&P were always the default position for pricing for me when i was a quantity surveyor - not always the cheapest but had sufficient portfolio for me to ball-park most jobs.

Nice to see some one is starting a shed company - dont know which market you are aiming at - cheapies with the build quality of a DIY store shed or those incredibly over priced 'log cabins' you see everywhere -nice to look at but a serious investment.

Whichever you go for - i wish you the all the best.

Mar 17, 2012
by: edward hayman

As a tradesman in the building trade, retired now but starting a personal progect to transform our retirement bungalow I have really missed B+P joinery from the day they closed. We dont have anything to compare in their field they were the best.

A good small joinery shop can do it but at twice the price and the stability of the timber is always a worry. Its the modern way unfortunately so much now is made to a price and quality is secondary. It works well for some things but the old idea for joinery was that it was integral to the property which should have indefinite life expectations.

I've seen new owners of a property take out timber and put in plastic before the property is a year old. Good joinery properly maintained should be good for a hundred years and more(indefinite) the same as the property.

What's gone wrong?


Jan 02, 2014
Boulton and Paul Dutch Barn
by: Anonymous

Hello, My name is Colin and we have a 1950's iron Dutch barn which is in urgent need of repair in the Cambridge area. Would you have any idea of a contractor who would be able to fix it up?

Nov 17, 2014
Boulton and Paul Summerhouse
by: Neil

My business has for a number of years restored Boulton and Paul Summerhouses. We have started production of faithful copies of the originals which are proving enormously popular. We currently have a three month waiting list.
I would be interested in hearing from anyone that can provide information on the original summerhouse plans and manufacture or has an interest in these incredible buildings.

Jun 04, 2015
Very large very old shed
by: Anonymous

I have just bought a site with a Boulton & Paul structure which used to be used as a Salvation Army hut on it. Am hoping to replace this structure, but don't want to just demolish it as it appears in good condition for its age. Any advice on where to advertise it?

Oct 09, 2021
Did they build Wall of Death Dromes
by: Anonymous

Hi, I am trying to trace anyone with information about Boulton and Paul building dromes for the Wall of Death. This would have been between approx 1929 and 1934. Can you help?
search Vintage Wall of Death to find me, cheers Alan

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