The Tufts Story

Tufts is a well-recognised household name in the local area for timber, building materials and sheet materials, with a family history stretching back over 75 years and through three generations.

The company originally started with George Tufts from his house and meadow land at Necton in 1946. George had bought and accumulated a load of used galvanised tin and corrugated sheets as well as used steel sections, box sections and various metals. He invited all the local farmers and agriculture people across for an auction on all these metal products.

George managed to get enough money together to buy the Hale Road site in Bradenham, where Tufts operates from today. He continued to buy and sell metal sheet materials, but expanded the business into prefab Arcons, nissen sheds, government surplus, army surplus uniforms, fridges and demolition timber.

Arcons were sold in three ways - supply only, supply and deliver or supply, deliver and erect; all of this was done by hand as there were no forklifts or mechanical handling! With old demolition timber coming in, the team were tasked with removing nails, damaged sections, cutting, sawing up and staking out to be resold as seconds and reclaimed timber. There was also another venture selling second-hand bricks and roof tiles, as well as office clearance desks, chairs and filing cabinets.

George was then joined in the family business by his son Michael in the early 1970’s and after a period of time decided to open up a secondary site in Watton. Bradenham continued to sell the second-hand timber and materials under George, and Watton ventured into new products under Michael, selling the similar product ranges that we see in the builders’ merchants today.

Around 1988, George took the decision to semi-retire and Michael sold the Watton site as a trading business. Investments from the proceeds were then put into developing the Bradenham site and merging the stock profiles of the two businesses.

In 1999, Tony Valentine joined the company and headed up the business. Drawing from experiences running successful branches of a
national chain, Tony took the business through a remarkable period of growth and evolution, with lots of notable successes; installing the first computer system and blending a whole host of new products to our product range to name but a couple.

George sadly passed away in 2000, leaving a legacy of a remarkable business built on customer service, stock availability and credible pricing. These three values we still hold at the core of our business today. In 2000 George Tufts & Son Ltd replaced its trading name to the brand we all know today as Tufts.

In 2012, Michael’s children, Lucy and John, both joined the business making it a 3rd generation family-run business.

Liam Brydon joined the company in 2020 to take over heading up the business and to continue the journey into the next chapter.

As you can see, we have a long history and we very much look forward to servicing our customers for many years to come.