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.