Rachel’s father Andrew, along with his wife Barbara, expanded the business along Martley Hillside, employing local men from within and around the village - setting up a working sawmill to supply the woodworking factory, which is where all the manufacturing is still done today.
The sawmill was once used to cut walnut wood which was used for making gun stocks. Elm was used by Ercol for furniture making, but when the dreaded Dutch elm disease struck, Andrew bought all the elm on the county council property and was responsible for the felling, clearing and merchanting of the majority of elm felled in Worcestershire at that time. Various kinds of timber have been purchased over major estates in the county, as well as woodland in Wales, where 58,000 trees have been planted to mature into beech and conifer.
With the post-war increase in home ownership, Andrew and Barbara began to manufacture and sell fencing panels, sheds, greenhouses, conservatories and gates. English oak was big on the market for restoration work on listed buildings, churches and general conversions, and has even been supplied to the Department of the Environment, National Heritage and to British Waterways for the maintenance of lock gates.