On leaving school in 1959 at the age of 18, Ken Sharpe joined the Hull Company of Westdock as a Sales Office employee. Westdock were, at that time developing their range of commercial glasshouses.
They were fulfilling a demand from local Dutch immigrant growers who were developing nurseries in the East Riding. Westdock were quickly spreading their sales throughout the UK.
After only 3 years Ken was appointed as a Sales Representative covering various parts of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Ireland. He was moved to live in Dublin to cover Ireland which was developing rapidly with commercial glasshouses at the time. He lived there with his wife and became very fond of the whole of Ireland.
However because of the troubles he moved back to Yorkshire keeping close to his nursery roots having formed his own business in the horticultural industry.
Now after some 50 years or more he is still very much involved with principally supplying commercial glasshouses, mainly taking down and re-erecting glasshouses throughout the UK. The re-erected glasshouses are fully updated and refurbished and often cannot be distinguished from new.
Although now aged 75, Ken is still very much at the helm and has clear vision for the continuance and expansion of the business.
As Managing Director I am in charge of the day to day running of the Company and its organisation. Despite being 76 years old this year, I have fortunately a clear mind and superb memory as to my horticultural activities over the last 55 years.
Although I don’t make many site visits these days, relying on my Site Manager Graham Dixon, I am available on the phone any time. I retain a sharp memory of Growers and Garden Centres throughout the UK, who maintain their contact with us even from father to son.
We have many repeat customers for glasshouses and associated equipment.
I am 50 years old and have been with Ken and his associated horticultural companies for about 30 years. I handle every aspect of the building of a Venlo glasshouse from an open site to its completion - a full ‘Turn-Key’ supply if required.
I am in charge of an experienced site team which marks out site, foundations, construction, steelwork construction and glazing to the finished product.
After all these years I can honestly say I know everything there is to know about Venlo glasshouses!
After working in Local Government for over 30 years I recently joined my brother Ken in the Company.
My role as Office Administrator enables me to use my experience in records management to ensure the office side of the business runs smoothly.
I greatly enjoy my new role working with Ken and Graham and find the type of business most interesting. As an avid gardener I enjoy the association with the horticultural industry; visiting garden centres has taken on a new meaning.