When Thomas Manners founded this company in 1860 Queen Victoria was on the throne, Abraham Lincoln was elected President of the United States and golf’s Open Championship was played for the first time. These landmarks in history give some context to the longevity of our company.

Thomas-MannersWe believe we are the oldest privately owned construction company in the North of England and we take great pride in maintaining the standards of craftsmanship and customer service established more than 150 years ago.

Originally established as a joinery business, the company prospered and expanded into general contracting under Thomas Manners’ careful guidance. During the First World War the firm contributed a number of men to the war effort, including Thomas’ son Robert.

RB-Manners-cropThe company also ‘did its bit’ by building wings for fighter aircraft such as the famous Sopwith Camel and SE5. Shortly before the end of the War Thomas finally retired and handed over the reins of the business to Robert.

Robert Manners had been gassed during his war service in the trenches and suffered ill-health, which eventually caused him to hand the running of the business on to his son, Brian.

Brian-Manners-cropBrian Manners had a distinguished record in the Second World War, gaining his wings from both the RAF and the US Air Force while training fighter pilots on both sides of the Atlantic.

He trained as an accountant before joining the family firm and soon found that the foundations which his father and grandfather had laid stood him in good stead and the company continued to prosper. In the late 1970s Brian, considering his own retirement, brought in his son Robert, our current MD.

Robert-Manners2Robert Manners is a qualified civil engineer. He has brought a modern dynamic approach to the business. The 1980s and 90s again brought expansion to the business and saw the Company develop close links with the NHS, local councils and schools across the region.

The early years of the new century brought further growth, culminating in a new primary school project in Crook, County Durham and in a number of prestige refurbishment and conversion projects, necessitating the relocation, in 2005, from our original Victorian premises into our new modern offices and workshops.

Simon MannersRobert’s son, Simon joined the business in 2008 after graduating from University College, London with a degree in Project Management for Construction. In 2016 Simon was made Joint Managing Director of the Company and so a fifth generation of the Manners family will lead the business into the foreseeable future.

The Company now consists of three divisions covering Construction, Specialist Joinery and Small Works. Robert and Simon lead our drive for continuous improvement and has been instrumental in the development of our Quality Management and Environmental Management and Safety Management Systems, for which we have achieved ISO 9001, 14001 and 18001 accreditation.