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From our humble beginnings starting out as a domestic fitted kitchen manufacturer in 1982 – some 35 years ago – David Bailey Furniture Systems has come such a long way. So, to mark our 35th year we have created an infographic which charts some of our key milestones against major events that took place in the United Kingdom.
1990 is a hugely significant date in the history of David Bailey Furniture Systems as it marks our first venture into the hospital sector when we supplied our first fitted hospital furniture contract to Margate District General Hospital. This was also the year that Margaret Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister and Conservative party leader, when in November Michael Heseltine launched a challenge to her leadership.
Over the next few years we were awarded some major hospital furniture contracts, including a £70,000 project at the Royal Marsden Hospital and a £200,000 contract for our HTM 63 furniture range at Kingston Hospital. It was a battle to keep up with orders in these early years but one we excelled at when in 1995 we increased our factory size by 75%. This same year boxer Frank Bruno fought and won his own battle – the WBC world heavyweight championship.
The autumn of 1998 – the year the Euro was introduced – saw our TV debut on the popular BBC1 series ‘Children’s Hospital’, which featured at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital. We were contracted by Laing’s Construction to supply hospital furniture to the value of £230,000. Our fitted hospital furniture has since appeared on TV sets in ITV’s medical drama series Monroe and BBC1’s Holby City.
As Brits prepared to celebrate the new millennium and HM The Queen officially opened the Millennium Dome, we had our own reason to celebrate in 2000 as David Bailey Furniture Systems saw a 40% increase in turnover in just 12 months. We also invested in new machinery, further expanded our factory and recruited more production and factory staff.
British football fans will remember all too well the year 2004 when England was knocked out of the UEFA Champions League by Portugal on penalties. For us it holds much happier memories as it marked our introduction into the Education sector with the launch of our Education Furniture range for schools.
During the next six years we established ourselves in the Education market with furniture being supplied and installed at primary and secondary schools, nurseries, universities and special educational needs schools – including a £44,200 contract for The Pears National Centre for Autism Education in North London and a £82,000 contract for Goldwyn Community Special School in Ashford, Kent.
As Gordon Brown resigned as Prime Minister in 2010 and David Cameron was appointed by HM The Queen, we launched into yet another new sector, this time selling direct to vets with the launch of our Veterinary Furniture range. We fitted out six veterinary surgeries throughout the UK this same year and also supplied veterinary furniture to the UK’s leading animal charity PDSA for seven of their practices.
2012 – the year that marked The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II – was perhaps our most successful and challenging year to date as we were awarded a £1million contract to supply and install fitted hospital furniture into the new £430million PFI-funded, state-of-the-art Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Over the next two years, eight of our fitters installed approximately 2,870 storage units in different sizes and styles and more than 960 worktops into 1,800 rooms in the hospital. In addition, we sourced a range of ancillary items including mirrors, washroom dispensers and fitness rehabilitation equipment for approximately 4,500 rooms.
Our ‘crowning’ moment came in 2013 when we fitted storage units and worktops at the Lindo Wing of St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington where just weeks later the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to Prince George of Cambridge on 22nd July and two years later to Princess Charlotte on 2nd May 2015. This same year marked the ‘birth’ of our new mobile writing desk, which we introduced to make it easier for nurses and hospital ward staff to take notes at patients’ bedsides.
This year, at the grand age of 96, the Duke of Edinburgh carried out his final official engagement, marking his retirement from public service, and what a grand year 2017 has been for us too! Starting with the management buyout of David Bailey Furniture Systems by MD Trevor Gillman at the end of last year, more recently we launched our modular Office Furniture range designed for busy workplaces and will soon be introducing an exciting new product across several of our furniture ranges!
We hope you have enjoyed our look back at the last 35 years of David Bailey Furniture Systems. Here’s to an equally fulfilling next 35 years.