Yesterday (Thursday 12 May) I was lucky enough to be invited to have a look around the factory of furniture company, Burgess Furniture in Feltham. While I was there, I took a guided tour around the extensive factory and learnt about how Burgess make their furniture, including the new Flexe chair and the more traditional Siena chair, from scratch. Burgess is one of a very few companies still operating that can say they make all their furniture components in-house. I also learnt all about the history of this family business.
Managing director, Jeremy Burgess explained how his father, Gerald Burgess launched the company back in 1959. After a successful business making bicycle handle bars, Gerald Burgess discovered that furniture could be manufactured in a very similar way using the groundbreaking material, aluminium. With Gerald Burgess' first career being a rally car driver, he originally named his company, Zephyr Furniture after the Ford Zephyr rally car he had won the RAC rally in before renaming it Burgess Furniture.
Over the past 50 years Burgess Furniture has supplied furniture for some of the most prestigious venues around the world, including the QE2's maiden voyage, the first cross channel hovercraft built by British Rail and Wembley Stadium.
In 1989, after 30 years as 'The Boss' Gerald Burgess retired and his son Jeremy took over as MD, and 10 years later in the company's 50th anniversary year, Burgess Furniture received the Queen's Award for Enterprise for International Trade.
Today, Burgess Furniture continue to make their furniture to a high standard using traditional processes alongside state of the art machines, and this family company hope to carry on doing so for a further 50 years.