In January this year Britdoors Group said goodbye to Anthony and Paul Kellett after 45 years of service at JCK Joinery. The well-loved joinery was first started in 1830 by their great, great, great, grandfather, John Cornelius Kellett.
Since conception, JCK Joinery (then known as J C Kellett) has been constructing quality timber masterpieces with a Kellett family member or two at the helm. In 2013, Anthony and his brother Paul started to make plans to pass on the JCK legacy, in order for them both to retire.
This was not an easy decision for them, as it would bring an end to the business being run by the Kellett family. Over the 186 years of business they had five generations of family running the business. It is for that reason, after long deliberation Anthony and Paul chose Britdoors Group to acquire JCK Joinery in November 2013.
Image: from left, Anthony Kellett and his brother Paul Kellett
“Britdoors already manufacture composite doors and we felt that our timber doorsets would complement their existing business perfectly. We specifically chose Britdoors because they promised to continue to work with our existing clients and introduce JCK to new customers. They also promised to keep on our existing machinery, premises and most importantly our staff.”
Both pinnacle figures will truly be missed by all the team and we wish them all the best.
Let’s take a look back at what key roles the pair played in their years of service at J C Kellett (Developers) and the latterly JCK Joinery.
The legacy, influence and passion
The business thrived on strong relationships forged with local and regional businesses. They provided all manner of joinery products and furniture for local authorities, schools, hospitals, places of worship and private clients.
Over the years other construction disciplines had evolved to become part of the companies remit including; contracting, house building, commercial and industrial building and civil engineering. Similarly from a sole trader, it evolved through various partnerships and limited companies. Anthony joined the company fulltime in 1971, after training in construction management and surveying at Leicester College of Art and Technology (now DeMontfort University) and civil engineering at Loughborough University. Shortly after his younger brother Paul joined fulltime in 1973, after studying building and construction management at Leicester Polytechnic. Following the early death of their father, George Henry, in 1976, Anthony was appointed Managing Director and Paul Contracts Manager. Soon after taking the reins, their uncle John William who had run the business jointly with his brother, their father, retired due to ill health and their cousin Keith left to pursue a career in railway and permanent way engineering. So they both took on sole ownership and running of the business.
J C Kellett (Developers) was formed in March 1980 to concentrate on industrial and residential development. In 1983 the Company moved from its premises in Friar Lane Leicester, where it had been since the 1900’s to its present location in Heanor Street which the company built. Through hard work and dedication, as well as numerous challenges, the pair showed their commitment and initiated key plans and strategies to target an under resourced market; including setting up the joinery side of the business in 1997.
In 1999 they decided to specialise in security doorsets, as ‘Secured by Design’ had been re-launched by the recently elected Labour government. By 2000 JCK had the first timber SBD compliant doorset which was quickly followed over the next 2 years by double doors, access control and fire doors. The company has continued to develop SBD doorsets to the present day, with many project specific doors designed and manufactured to meet their clients requirements. Both Anthony and Paul have encouraged individual contribution from all the company’s staff to engender a team spirit, and no more so than in the development of the vast array of SBD products.
In 2004 it became apparent that the existing administration would benefit from a new inclusive computer system. After 2 false starts and the assistance of a local university, a suitable system was found and the process of integration began and continues to this day. Once again the contribution of the staff at JCK cannot be overstated.
In 2007 a decision was made to produce a range of contemporary timber doorsets which was launched under the brand name of “Spirit Doors”. Under Anthony’s direction and with enthusiasm from key staff, a range of doors were designed and marketed. The intention was to target the private retail sector, but very soon the appeal to architects and designers looking for something different was realised, as enquiries came for large new build projects. As the requirement became more demanding for specialist hardware, glass, finishing and fixing materials, Paul assumed the responsibility for sourcing and purchasing the components. Anthony and Paul were very influential in the running of the business and if you have had the privilege to meet them, you would know their personal skills and friendly approach to business is what sets them apart in the marketplace.
Whether working with architects or contractors, the team added special value to each and every one they met. Anthony forged key alliances with trade bodies including the likes of the BEC (Building Employers Confederation), of which he was a former President, the British Woodworking Federation, BSI, BM Trada and ‘Secured by Design’; those partnerships stay strong and true to date.
On closing comments Anthony said;
“It is an ever changing world in which we live with new challenges presenting themselves daily. As we reflect on our time with JCK there have been many difficult periods but these are immeasurably outweighed by the pleasure of working with each and everybody at JCK Joinery and more recently with those from Britdoors. It is sad to depart but I look forward to welcoming retirement and spending quality time with my friends and family.
“We wish Britdoors, all the staff at JCK and its many suppliers and contractors all the very best for the future and we will no doubt remain in close contact with them all.”
From us all at Britdoors Group and JCK Joinery; Happy Retirement Anthony and Paul!