Our business, now known as Wilford & Dean, was established in 1810. We’ve sifted through various archives to create a timeline. If you have any historic information on our business, or the projects we’ve worked on, we’d be delighted to hear about it – we’re always looking for things to add to this timeline.

1810

Charles Wilford, a plumber and glazier, started to trade. During the same year, Tickford Bridge was constructed, Chopin, the composer, was born, and Napoleon’s imperial barge was built for ceremonial displays and nautical parades.
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1815

Charles Wilford (2nd) was born. He grew up to run his father’s business with his brother Josiah, employing eight men. During this period of increasing industrialisation, labourers were moving from agricultural roles to the new cities. By the end of the 1800s, 80% of England’s population lived in cities.
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1845–54

Charles Wilford (2nd) and his wife Elizabeth had two sons, Benjamin and William, who would later inherit the business.
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1888

Benjamin bought 55-57 Union Street at auction for £265 at 7pm on 31 October in 1888 at The Swan Revived Hotel, a short walk away. This property has remained the company’s HQ ever since.
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1891

The Wilford Bros started to describe themselves as builders for the first time. Things were really moving in England. This was the year that Deptford Power Station opened: it was the first high-voltage power station in the world, and it was fuelled by coal.
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Late 1800s

Benjamin’s sons Charles (3rd) and Frank were born, and took on the business as adults. They were the first to make the business official and listed it as a partnership – an arrangement that was dissolved in 1932, but the Wilford Bros continued trading. Frank Wilford lived in Wolverton Road, Newport Pagnell.
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Early 1900s

Newport Pagnell Construction had a heritage maintenance team working full-time on Woburn Abbey. One person was simply maintaining the nine-mile wall around the estate, which was built in 1798 – just 12 years before this building and maintenance company was founded.
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1915

Charles and Frank Wilford enrolled in the Newport Pagnell Company of the County Volunteer Defence Corps. Drills were held at 8pm on Tuesdays and 6.30pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. By 1916, Charles had been promoted to Captain. During this same year, Wilford Bros also lent their horses and trolleys to be used in Newport Pagnell’s summer parade of decorative floats.
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1916

Northampton Hospital held a fundraising fete. Wilford Bros erected an arch for the fete, bearing a message wishing the hospital success. They also tendered to build latrines at the Town Hall: their quote was £31, 13s.
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1918

With the assistance of their wives and daughters, Wilford Bros continued to support fundraising for hospitals throughout the First World War. Charles was named in the local newspaper in a letter from Mrs Katherine Knapp: “Dear Sir. May I take this opportunity of thanking, on behalf of my committee, all those who so very kindly helped to make the fete at Chicheley Hall the great success that it has been....
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1924

Wilford Bros were involved in constructing Tyringham Hall’s famous Temple of Music – the only building of its kind to be found in an English country house garden.
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1940s

Wilford Bros refurbished Casswell for Marconi Materials Technology (Plessey) because Marconi was developing and making aircraft radio systems, and their Ilford base was considered too vulnerable to enemy bombing during the Second World War.
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1955

Wilford Bros was sold outside the family to Sid Wilson as a builders and caretakers. Sid would double as a professional mourner. The undertaking and headstone service was stopped in the 1960s.
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1967

Sid sold Wilford Bros to John Bowyer, who renamed the business Newport Pagnell Construction and positioned it as a reliable choice for certain projects in building the new city of Milton Keynes.
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1972

Michael Dean joined as a Project Surveyor. At the time, Newport Pagnell Construction were building factories and schools in Milton Keynes, but still using their wooden-wheeled cart to move tools and materials around Newport Pagnell.
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1975

Newport Pagnell Construction converted Woughton House to Woughton House hotel which was listed during the same year.
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1976

Michael became Managing Director aged 30. His duties included quotes, tenders, recruitment and attending management meetings with John Bowyer, who remained involved with the company. Shortly after Michael became MD, Newport Pagnell Construction was one of the first construction companies to directly employ its tradesmen. It grew to 40 staff, which made its headcount larger than its national competitors.
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Late 1970s

The new Lagonda was too long to fit in Aston Martin’s Newport Pagnell workshop. Newport Pagnell Construction was asked to build a larger one. When the team started digging foundations, they found concrete which became harder the deeper they dug. They were baffled until an older member of Aston Martin’s staff exclaimed, “That’s where they used to test Merlin Spitfire engines!”
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1980

Newport Pagnell Construction built a reflective pool in Central Milton Keynes and installed the iconic Octo sculpture.
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1985

Michael Dean commissioned the company’s first ever logo for branded vans, headed paper and advertising.
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1990

The recession hit, so Newport Pagnell Construction returned to offering small works as well as large-scale projects. They equipped a company van with a wide range of tools for multi-skilled employees. Their maintenance service was welcomed by local factories, including Coca-Cola, which retained Newport Pagnell Construction for 15 years. During this time, other work included many listed buildings in need of specialist repair, such as gold-leafing.
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2005

Newport Pagnell Construction was asked to board up Hut 8, in which Alan Turin led the Codebreakers. Later, Newport Pagnell Construction was asked to restore and refurbish Hut 8 so that it could reopen as part of Bletchley Park Museum.
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2015

Simon Haddy was appointed as Managing Director and set the wheels in motion to create a new brand within Newport Pagnell Construction, with a name that reflects its history.
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2016

Wilford & Dean was launched, and trades as part of Newport Pagnell Construction. The same year, as Wilford & Dean, they built the Codebreakers Memorial Wall at Bletchley Park.
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