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John Martin pictured in the woods

The business was started over 40 years ago by Kim's Father, John Martin, who used to supplement his income as a farm labourer by wood-cutting and making fencing stakes and posts. Growing tired of burning the crooked waste wood he made himself a rustic garden seat and promptly sold it in the pub on his way home! One seat led to another and he soon started up on his own, although for many years fencing and logs were his main work, with the furniture still being a bit of a sideline.

One year he decided to take a stand at the Heathfield Show and took enough orders to keep him busy for the rest of that summer, so the fencing side of the business gradually took second place as he expanded the range of seats, tables and ornamental planters. Customers' special requests developed into new lines and at one time four or five people were employed at his home workshops including of course his daughter Kim who learnt the trade by watching and copying her Dad (somewhat reluctantly in her teens!).

Kim & her Dad in the workshop

Kim continued to work for her Dad, in due course getting married to Trevor and producing a possible heir to the business in young Darren. She gradually took more responsibility and eventually took over the business in April 2000 when John finally hung up his hammer. Sadly he passed away in November of that year, but Kim keeps his traditions alive and continues to produce the distinctive garden furniture that he pioneered 40 years ago. Each item is hand-made in the same workshops and she will make any item to the customer's individual specification.