Paul Long – Site Operations Director
Aged 50, married with one son
Left school in 1979 and had an initial foray into the world of agriculture, spending 3 years as a draughtsman designing grain handling plants on farms in East Anglia. Then came the move into timber in 1982 when I joined a family owned sawmilling operation and trained as a hardwood measurer and grader, swiftly rising to the level of Assistant Works Manager – and my affinity with timber was born.
The call to “engineered timber” came along in 1984, and over the next 15 or so years I worked for some of the UK`s largest trussed rafter and timber frame manufacturers, learning the ropes from the ground up – working on the factory floor, then in the office on estimating, sales, design and detailing as well as time out on site erecting the structures. I worked at all levels from office junior and factory labourer through to Company Director – learning all the time and furthering my love of timber.
Midway through 1996 I was representing my employer of the time at a self-build exhibition when I was approached by a visitor to see if I could design a roof structure with trussed rafters at 1200mm centres (the Swedish way) – and so began my working relationship (and long term friendship) with Mike Mapston.
Towards the end of 1999 I was contacted by Mike to ask if I would like to work for his Company, which was manufacturing “Swedish” specification timber frame packages – I jumped at the chance. With Mike (as well as Simon & Chris Wood), I worked on many projects which were undoubtedly way ahead of their time, building “passive structures” before the term was even used in the UK – such as the City Learning Centre in Walthamstow, London. It became apparent that a major part of the construction industry is dealing with people – from designers to site teams and of course customers, this I`m told, is my forte – so if construction ever becomes boring I`ll be looking for a position with the U.N!
I continued to work with Mike, Simon & Chris over the following years – after Mike sold his company - whilst embarking on some large leisure (holiday/leisure lodges) developments as main contractor and working as a consultant on all types of timber structures. Over those years I made many excellent long term business contacts and friendships which now ensure we only work with the very best Partners for materials and services.
I`ve been told that I probably have sawdust running through my veins after spending so long working with timber – probably true, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.