It seems rather surreal to be penning our farewell message now that retirement for Jonathan and myself is finally upon us. We have both spent (quite literally) a lifetime working in the family firm, spanning the early memories of our parents setting up the business in 1964 to Jonathan and I helping out as teenaged labourers during school holidays… We both learnt to drive dumper trucks and excavators before we could drive cars!

Jonathan joined Baxall full-time in 1979 initially as a machine operator and trainee plant fitter before moving into the office and taking over the wages and general accounts. I joined Baxall in my early 20s to site manage the construction of 2 industrial units armed with zero experience in construction other than what I had gleaned as a student labourer!

Back then, our work generally consisted of building, extending or refurbishing commercial and industrial units within the local area, although we also ventured into the world of refurbishment in the City for the likes of the Swiss Bank and the Bank of Dallas, both of which were challenging and rewarding projects.

We met Malcolm during our playing days at Tunbridge Wells Rugby Club and, following a memorable skiing holiday in France, Malcolm joined us in 1986 as Baxall’s Contracts Manager. Three years later my parents retired following a management buyout by the new partnership of Jonathan, Malcolm and myself. We grew and developed the team around us, building strong relationships with repeat business – indeed strong relationships which have carried us through some difficult periods and formed the solid foundations upon which the company now operates.

Despite our growth in recent years, we are delighted that Baxall has retained its traditional core values of ‘buildings built on teamwork’. Jonathan and I will now watch and support from the side-lines, just as our parents have done over the last 30 years, with continued pride and interest.

We will be keeping ourselves busy in retirement by pursuing our sports and finally getting round to doing all those things we have both wanted to do for many years but have never had the time. The slippers are staying firmly on the shelf for the time being!

Our sincere thanks to Malcolm, our business partner and good friend for all these years, who has taken on the Baxall batten – ably supported by Chris, Steve and the rest of the team – to move the company on towards its next exciting phase.

Finally, a big thank you to you all, and we hope to have a beer/glass of wine with you at some time in the future when COVID finally allows us to celebrate.

Best wishes for the New Year and stay safe!!

Nigel and Jonathan

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