The history of Westerman Homes
Westerman have been building quality homes for more than 80 years
Walter Westerman completed his apprenticeship as a carpenter joiner having worked on various local sites including a housing development on Bramcote Avenue, Chilwell, for Glossop of Codnor, the building contractor. In January 1933 Walter started work on his own, from his parents house at 98, Park Road, Chilwell, making window frames and carrying out general repair work, which included the Club House opposite School Lane, Chilwell. Walter, as with other tradesmen of his era, pushed a handcart along the footpaths through Bramcote to Stapleford to collect his timber supplies. To carry materials and tools generally most tradesmen used handcarts, but soon Walter purchased a motorcycle and sidecar as his means of transportation.
By 1935 he was building speculative houses on School Lane, Chilwell, followed by similar work around the area until the outbreak of World War II. He remained self employed, subcontracting other tradesmen when necessary. The business was financed with the help of mortgages with the Nottingham Building Society and the Leek and Moorland Building Society. It was very difficult to sell houses at this time so the buildings at School Lane and two at Farm Road were retained for letting, providing a regular income. Work premises were now established and in 1938 Walter built a new house on the same site, for his wife Doris, at Bye Pass Road, Chilwell. By this stage he had upgraded his transport by acquiring a Morris 8 car and a trailer. With government restrictions on the purchase of building materials, Walter found sufficient work carrying out small repairs work for the Ministry of War at Chilwell and various sites around the area. The business became a limited company in 1946 with Walter and his wife Doris as directors.
By the mid 50s larger developments were undertaken at Toton and Chilwell
At the end of the war in 1946, there was a considerable amount of housing development for the local authorities and he was able to obtain contracts for Beeston and Stapleford UDC, Nottingham Corporation, Southwell Rural District Council and Carlton UDC. Other projects included a police station at Carlton, The Nurserymen public house in Beeston and a new office for Earles Cement Ltd in Beeston. The business had now grown sufficiently for the use of a lorry, although handcarts were still used for local work. A succession of lorries was purchased, the most interesting being a Commer, which Walter specified with an interchangeable body allowing the vehicle to operate as a tipper for general site work or a platform truck for carting timber and bricks. The joiners shop manufactured most of what was needed, including window frames, doors and skirting board.
In 1950, a daughter Shirley was born, sister to Brian who was born in 1944. Post war restrictions were imposed by the Government, on private housing development, but soon houses were built for private clients. The earliest development of any size was on Crofton Road, Chilwell, connecting with A H Taylors‚ development on Crofton Road, Attenborough. However, it was not until the mid 1950s that larger developments were undertaken at Woodstock Road, Toton and Baskin Lane, Chilwell. The first furnished show house was opened at the Woodstock Road site to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the company and a celebratory dinner was held at Hands Cafe in Beeston. It was to be during the late 1970s before show homes were reintroduced.
By 1974 a staff of 30 and a considerable land bank
The company embarked on the acquisition trail in the early sixties with first E J Boot, the Beeston plumbing contractor and, ten years later, J Carter, builders of Radcliffe on Trent, which brought further land for development. Large parcels of land were purchased at Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire, and Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire which were later sold off. The company prospered with Brian and Shirley being appointed as additional directors. Shortly before the companies 40th year celebrations Walter became seriously ill and passed away on 13th February 1973. A 41st anniversary dinner was held on the 12th January 1974 at the Strathdon Hotel, Nottingham, with Brian who had now taken over the reins proposing the toast to the company and employees. Brian now found himself in charge of a business that employed a staff of thirty and a considerable land bank built up by his father. Walter’s wife Doris, who in the early years was very much involved in the day to day running of the business, died in 1990. Since that time the business has flourished with both of Brian’s children being involved in the business. Robert is the Managing Director and Louise Deputy Managing Director. Although Walter, Brian, Robert and Louise have been the driving forces in the success story, there has been considerable support over the years from several loyal, long serving employees.
In 2008, the 75th anniversary celebrations were held at The Goosedale Centre in Papplewick, with a commemorative booklet being produced to celebrate the occasion. Westerman were awarded winning status for Best Detached Home, in the Nottingham Evening Post New Homes Awards, for Derwent Barn in Sawley. Today Westerman are proud to maintain a philosophy of providing high quality homes at realistic prices and purchasers can feel content in the knowledge that their new home has been tastefully designed and constructed.
Celebrating more than 80 years in business
In January 2013 the company celebrated their 80th anniversary. Most recently Westerman’s flagship development Wilsthorpe Meadows, in Long Eaton, was completed.