Arnold Laver

In 1920, Mr Arnold Laver returned home from the Great War in Germany. He announced to his father that, instead of rejoining the family business, he intended to use his savings to start up as a timber merchant. The response was "Don't come crawling back here when it's gone." He never had to! The first site was in Heeley, Sheffield where Arnold Laver "took off his coat and fenced it himself". Customers paid cash in advance so Arnold Laver could buy the wood to fulfil their order. Deliveries were made by hand cart. Within the year the business was doing well enough to buy machinery such as a saw bench and planer, and to buy their first horse, 'Charlie', to make deliveries. Determination and sheer hard work saw the business grow. When asked what hours they worked, Arnold Laver always gave the same answer: "24 hours a day, and don't be late in the morning!" We worked long hours, we worked hard, we were keen to see the business succeed.