Since 1963, the Wateridge family have been running the partnership of New Forest Fencing, where this household name has become synonymous with quality fencing and customer service in Hampshire and the New forest.
With the support of his wife Jackie, David who back then, lived in the Waterloo Arms pub in Lyndhurst began work as a local fencer. With assistance from his father Joe, who was the pub Landlord, he made his own gates & panels in the garage behind the pub.
The traditional fencing team of one man and his van earned him a reputation for quality and by recommendation, soon became a familiar sight around the New Forest erecting fences and gates to the customer’s requirements.
With barely enough room to swing a cat, let alone a carpenters hammer, David out grew Joe’s garage and in 1963 moved to a small unit in Shelley Lane (photo), at Ower. He quickly outgrew the unit and in order to expand, two years later moved to a rural, run down and overgrown site in Mill Lane, Nursling, which had just two small buildings.
Where others lacked the vision, David could actually see beyond the “wood for the trees” and saw the potential which the site had, to become much more than a base to operate just him and a van. David and Jackie soon set to task in pursuit of their vision, and gradually began to employ people to expand the business and turn the site into what it is today.
Quietly behind the scenes, two home grown employees were carefully being nurtured, with the birth of their sons Darren in 1967 and Michael in 1969, the future of the family business was secured.
David and Jackie were family minded and from a young age encouraged their sons to play football & Cricket for local teams, and supported them through sponsorship. The pattern has continued, as Darren’s son’s play for local teams today and New Forest Fencing still sponsor local football and cricket clubs.
On leaving school both sons, shadowed their father and learned the ropes, in the various workshops and on site, to gain experience and become fully fledged fencers in their own rights. The boys were being trained and prepared to take on greater roles of responsibility.
In 1993 David & Jackie moved to Waldens Farm Fishery (click here for brochure), with Darren and Michael taking over the day to day running of the business and in that year, they were appointed as ‘partners’ which their wives Karen and Sara would also later become.
The balance of their characters and skill for business management has been a large factor in our growth and success. Their sense of ambition and ability to spot an advertising opportunity enabled the business to grow and grow.
Over time, the site has been developed beyond recognition, from its humble beginnings nearly 50 years ago, into an efficient, operating timber yard, producing cut to size timber, sourced from sustainable, mainly British Woodland. Darren and Michael expanded the office facilities with modern computer systems, enlarged and altered the workshops to provide optimum use of space and equipment as well as providing modern covered storage for kiln dried timber.
Together their experience and drive has enabled them to bring the business into the 21st century. Darren’s wife Karen, who worked for many years in Banking, uses her skills and experience, to take good care of the Company accounts, as well as nurturing their three boys, the next generation, in preparation for running the business into the future.
With consistent growth, by 1994 it became necessary to divide the supply only side of the business, from the supply and erect service. To manage both aspects more professionally and provide a better service to the customer, the family separated the business to form and develop two companies. “New Forest Fencing & Gates”, manufacture, supply and sell products to the consumer, while “New Forest Fencing Ltd”, specialise in contracting and on-site erection services. At present the two businesses support over 20 employees, plus several teams of on-site fence erectors.
The extended families of Darren & Karen’s three boys Dan, Jack & Matt and Michael & Sara’s three girls Genevieve, Josephine and Eleanor, give some indication of how our family business will grow and develop in the years and the generations to come.
Jack started working for us at the age of 14 on Saturdays and is now fully employed, Matt his younger brother is following the same pattern and Dan the eldest joined us in 2013, after working at David Lloyd for 4 years as a P.T instructor.
So, what can you be confident of? Ours is a family business which is safely secure for the next generation to care for, grow and expand in the years to come. Handed down through our family, we are proud to pass on the same sound ethics and principles which have a proven track record that you have come to trust, respect and rely upon. Please be assured that with a solid foundation to build on, your confidence in New Forest Fencing is well grounded.
Now you know who we are, why not come down and visit us and see for yourself, just what we are capable of doing, you may be pleasantly surprised that despite our growth and development over the past 5 decades, the welcoming character and charm of this rural place has changed little, and that includes our friendly staff (photo). See you soon, or tell your friends to come, we will be ready.