Tragedy struck the Leeds Lake Terrace Branch of Jewson, in the shape of a cowardly and devastating arson attack. Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident which was captured on CCTV cameras, leading to the apprehension, trial and imprisonment of the culprits.
Long-serving Branch Manager at the time, Phil Robinson, recalls his initial feelings of horror, anger and sadness. He says those emotions were subsequently replaced by hope, belief and pride in Jewson and his branch team who “have endured initial hardship and uncertainty to turn a bad situation into a positive outcome!”
More than a third of the stock held at the branch was lost in the blaze. The remaining goods were shared between two neighbouring Jewson branches as were the personnel. Phil Robinson comments: “Sadly we had to split our workforce up in order to carry on servicing our customers, many of whom were very upset at the attack on what they saw as a much-valued trading partner whom they had relied on over the years.”
From initially working in portacabins, to now operating from brand new premises at the same location, the team has certainly been on a journey together. The relaunched specialist distributor, Jewson Civils Frazer, now focuses on the supply of civils and utilities solutions to the building sector.
Jewson Civils Frazer Sales Director, Nick Boyle, said: “It truly is a tale of triumph over adversity. We value all our employees and trust them to do the right thing. But when something like this happens, we are reminded of their outstanding professionalism and resilience.”
Phil Robinson added: “It’s great that we’ve been back working together over the past few months and, hopefully, making a difference to the everyday lives of our customers.”