Sidmouth firm celebrates 125 years

Builder Skinners is one of town’s biggest employers

BOSSES at one of Sidmouth’s biggest employers say scores of jobs are ‘in safe hands’ as they celebrate the firm’s 125th anniversary.

And Skinner Construction chiefs say the future is bright for the Station Road based outfit and its 102-strong staff.

Chairman, Colin Mayor, 79, has seen the company’s turnover rocket from �30,000 when he took over with his brother-in-law, Colin Farnsworth, 50 years ago to �7million today.

And the former joiner, who turns 80 in August, has no intention of retiring just yet.

“It was shot to pieces when I took over,” he told the Herald.

“It makes me feel very proud. Building is my life, it has been since I was eight-years-old.

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“I think we’re good for the town generally.

“We’ve got people that have been here for 28 years. People have had a whole career with this company.”

He added the firm still takes on apprentices and is keen to invest in young people. Skinner has been behind countless projects in the town, including ‘most’ of Woolbrook, and big money schemes across the region.

“The biggest job of all, technically, for me was the former Royal London Hotel in Fore Street,” said Colin.

“We had to prop the entire building up and take out the first storey, put in new foundations, a concrete floor, and then a new first storey.”

“There is no one more enthusiastic about this company’s future than Colin Mayor,” said managing director Phillip Tucker, who has been behind a ‘gradual’ takeover of the company for around four years.

“We need to be here. There’s a lot of responsibility as its local people we employ.

“We want to get bigger ,but we don’t want to go national or float on the stock exchange. We’re builders not accountants.

“We’re proud, and Sidmouth should be proud of Skinner as well.”