Our History


Hawthorn Timber has been supplying the folk of Hull with timber for more than half a century, starting life as a sole trader business under founder Dennis Stone in 1953.

The first Hawthorn Timber yard was located at 153 Hawthorn Avenue in Hull, the address from which our name was born. His first customer bought six sheets of hardboard for 2 Shillings and 5 Pence each, or 12.5p in today’s money, a transaction which netted a grand profit of seven and a half pence. In the early days, all timber was cut to length with a handsaw and delivered by Dennis on a hand cart towed behind his bike, having been planed at a rented yard in Newington Street.


In the early 1960s, a second yard is opened in an old stone mason’s yard on Spring Bank West and the decade proves an important period of expansion, leading Dennis to incorporate the firm as Hawthorn Timber Supply Limited in 1964.


In 1967, Dennis oversaw the construction of our first purpose-built sawmill on Hedon Road, a location chosen because of its close proximity to the docks. The new building required 100,000 bricks, at a time when a batch of 1,000 bricks cost of Five Pounds, Two Shillings and Sixpence.

Family is at the heart of our company


After the arrival of Trevor, Dennis and Sheila’s first son, Michael their second son joins what is now a substantial family business, working at the Hedon Road sawmill from Monday to Friday before spending Saturday at the Spring Bank depot, the busiest day for DIY trade.

Trevor and Michael are eventually appointed as directors and take on a more administrative role within the business.


Buying direct from abroad leads to the appointment of Keith Burley, the company’s first Sales and Purchasing Director – and the first, non-family director. This move reflects the fact that the business is now very much a timber manufacturer, rather than simply a supplier.


Having started life with a first sale of less than one pound in 1953 and an annual turnover of £2,500; the company’s turnover grows to over £22million – and employs more than 130 staff.


A new 20,000sqft sawmill incorporating slick, brand new high-speed computer-controlled moulding machines and Crosscut saws is officially opened at the Hedon Road depot.


As part of the 2017 City of Culture celebrations, Hawthorn Timber is thrilled to be featured in a special version of Monopoly featuring Hull landmarks. The Humber Bridge, Ferens Art Gallery, Holy Trinity Church and Hull City Hall are among the other sights to fill the square spaces on the board. Makers of the board game described it as "a celebration of everything Hull - its rich past, jubilant present and vibrant future".


After almost 70 years of serving the city and beyond, Hawthorn Timber is under new ownership after Managing Director Richard Thompson, Sales Director Richard Iversen and Production Director James Stone complete a management buy-out, taking on the business with backing from the European private equity investor Nimbus.