We’re proud of our past at Bakers - and rightly so!
William Baker opened business on 11th June 1878 with £50 and a loaned horse and cart, as a “Millwright, wheelwright, carpenter etc”. Operations were run from Eves Corner, Danbury, which remains the Head Office to this day. William Baker was born into a farming family in 1846 and after leaving school, became an apprentice to a millwright, eventually working for Fell Christy Millwrights of Chelmsford.
William Baker worked on many mills local to Danbury. He repaired Danbury Windmill several times after it was struck by lightning in 1878, but eventually the mill was taken down around 1897. With the demise of mills there were few mill jobs after the 1890’s, at which point William Baker concentrated on general repairs and construction of local properties as well as a small amount of church works. The Company soon gained a reputation for quality and honesty based on its founder’s strict religious beliefs.
In 1904 William Baker retired leaving the business to his sons - the business became “Baker and Sons”. Charlie Baker’s main interest was in building and Frank Baker’s main interest was in church restoration work. The restoration of Danbury St John the Baptist Church spire in 1922 was their first major undertaking in church restoration work.
Being the only builder of size in the area, Baker and Sons were approached by clients wishing to acquire land and have a house built in the area. For these houses, Baker and Sons generally made use of red facing bricks manufactured in their own brickyards, and therefore much of the architecture you see today as you walk around Danbury and Little Baddow can be identified as the work of Charlie and Frank Baker.
For three generations, the Baker family remained involved in the day-to-day running of the business, before the managers of the Company established ownership.
Today, we’re still known for our expertise on historic and listed properties, and interestingly, many of the methods we use in our conservation and restoration work remain very similar to those of over a century ago.
Over the last 140 years however, Bakers has developed into a diverse business and operates in the educational, commercial, healthcare and housing sectors as well as carrying out insurance repairs for many insurance companies. Bakers has also retained and expanded its specialist joinery, funeral and monumental/architectural masonry businesses.
Bakers benefit from a team of experienced stonemasons, carpenters, joiners and other tradesmen. The longest serving having worked up through our apprenticeship scheme has been with Bakers over 35 years!