New hospital’s first impression built in Hunts

THE opening last week, three months early, of the new �335million Peterborough City Hospital was a triumph for a Warboys joinery firm.

The main reception desk and 143 other nurses stations and reception desks were made by bespoke joinery company BF Darlow Ltd, based at Warboys Airfield Industrial Estate, under contracts worth more than �750,000.

The deal involved more than 13 months work for the 14-strong firm.

The company was founded eight years ago after builder Dean and Bowes was bought out and closed its joinery shop in St Peter’s Road, Huntingdon.

David Darlow, who had worked for the company for 16 years, set up his own business and took 12 craftsman colleagues with him. They include three generations of the same family – foreman Wayne Hipwell works alongside his father Brian Hipwell, 74, and Wayne’s son Ryan Hipwell is the firm’s newest apprentice. Between them, they have between 150 and 160 years’ experience, believes managing director David.

In its comparatively short history, the company has developed a reputation for producing quality bespoke furniture as a component of major building and refurbishment work.

Recent contracts have included a contract worth more than �250,000 to make and fit 181 sliding sash windows for a listed school in London, and making furniture for the restored Jurys Hotel in London’s Welbeck Street under a deal worth �850,000.

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It was Darlows’ second major involvement in a development for the Jurys group, having also worked on the company’s Kensington hotel.

Darlows, which specialises in made-to-measure joinery for the retail and leisure sectors, also works for small customers in the domestic market.

It has done two major jobs for Jesus College, Cambridge, a reception area for an hotel in London’s Earls Court, and fitting out work on the Premier Inn in Southampton.

It has been very busy for us,” David Darlow said. “For the past three years we have always had one big job carrying us through. We find that a lot of customers need it ‘now’ – and we can meet that sort of demand.”

INFORMATION: BF Darlow is at Unit 3 E Warboys Airfield, Industrial Estate, Huntingdon PE28 2SH: telephone 01487 824908, fax 01487 814917.