Timber Boss Meets Hero on TV Garden Creation Show

byCatherine Smyth Media

A TIMBER company from Rossendale got the chance to see its products on national TV when Monty Don helped a local school’s dreams come true.

St Mary’s CE School, Hawkshaw, contacted James Stroud, owner of Rossendale Bespoke Timber on Blackburn Road, Haslingden, to ask for his help to develop the outdoor space.

James said: “I was really busy at the time, but I decided to meet with them and then they explained that Monty Don was coming in and the project was going to be filmed for the BBC.

“Monty Don is one of my heroes. Before I started the timber business four years ago I was a landscape gardener and I always watch his programmes.”

Big Dreams Small Spaces was shown on BBC2 last Friday February 18 and since its broadcast James has been inundated with comments from people who viewed it.

He said: “It has always been my ambition to get my log store on national TV and I was able to get five on the programme – they became a bug hotel, a tipi, a welly rack and an outdoor library.

“We also made the raised beds, a pergola, a mud kitchen, a table with integral chairs and a set of three activity boards one was a blackboard, another a Perspex board for a train set and the third had a mesh so the children could thread things through.

“Almost everything was bespoke for the school and it has resulted in people contacting me asking if they can buy what we created.

“The reaction of the children when they came into the area was amazing. There is nothing better than seeing them interacting with what you have created. The TV programme will be a distant memory, but their garden will be there for years to come. It is a lasting legacy.”

It has been an astonishing 16 months for the business. Rossendale Bespoke Timber won the apprentice category in Rossendale Business Awards 2015 an the made in Rossendale category in 2016.

A successful stall at the popular Manchester Christmas Markets led to a new product range and the business is now selling specially designed wooden memorabilia at Comic Con events.

James said: “It was incredible getting the chance to work with Monty Don. He is really hands on and he shepherded the team from the school taking their ideas and making them realise how they could modify them to make them work.

“He is so nice, is mild mannered and whether he is filming or not he has the same temperament and is incredibly encouraging.”

James is now planning to take the business forward by getting his log store into a national or even international garden centre chain, rather than just direct selling on the business website.

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