Ridgeons, the independent timber and builders’ merchant in East of England, is helping to restore a number of WW1 huts by replacing the original timber provided by Ridgeons over 100 years ago.
The new Great War Huts visitor centre at Brook Farm in Suffolk is a unique heritage project, which brings together some of the original army huts that were used to house, train and equip 850,000 men between 1914 and 1918.
A century after they were first erected, Ridgeons Bury St Edmunds branch is supporting the Great War Huts centre with timber that is the perfect match to the original specification.
Alex Limpus, Ridgeons Bury St Edmunds branch manager, said: “Ridgeons has been part of the East of England community since 1911 and would have been required to provide construction materials as part of the war effort. It’s incredible how we have gone full circle and Ridgeons is able to supply timber that has the same profile as the original cladding that was used on the huts, 100 years on. We were experts in timber back then and we’re still timber experts today.
“The project is a real asset to East Anglia and we’re proud to be part of its development.”
Tracey Mackenzie from the Centre, said: “Great War Huts has become a community project in its own right. Volunteers have helped to prepare the panels and students at West Suffolk College are also getting involved; apprentices at the college are building the windows using original plans for their practical element and will see their work on display in the completed huts.
“We were amazed that Ridgeons stocked the same timber used a century ago and their input has been fantastic – it’s really helped us restore the huts exactly as they were first built during the war.”