Patrick set up Patrick Baxter Furniture in 1991, after training with Shropshire cabinet maker & antique restorer David Ackroyd, for the first ten years or so making fairly traditional designs for exclusive clients using all the traditional skills such as carving, gilding, french polishing, intarsia and complex joints, whilst employing 3 full time cabinetmakers for most of that period.
From earliest leanings towards furniture making and wood loving in his teens, Patrick was collecting bits of trees to cut, dry and make into things.
At an early stage of the new business it was clear it was difficult to find kiln dried British hardwoods of any quality on a regular basis so Patrick started cutting and seasoning his own from local trees in 1994. This quality kiln-dried timber was initially used only for the bespoke furniture making business but by 1999 the production was high enough to try selling some excess stock and offcuts and so Lanarkshire Hardwoods was born, given a name sometime around the millennium.
By 2001 Patrick was mostly full time providing work for the staff and far less hands on so a return to basics was required. Reluctantly the staff were made redundant and since then Patrick has been the sole furniture maker and restorer, whilst continuing to expand the timber side of the business, Lanarkshire Hardwoods. In 2004 Patrick’s wife Rachael joined him in the business, freeing up much time no longer spent doing book keeping. The first website was developed in 2005 and since then business has grown rapidly year on year.
A brand new light and spacious retail wood shop was built as an extension to the old store, doubling the dry, heated storage area for the kiln dried hardwood. A large air drying and general storage shed was built in 2010, with an adjacent new sawmill housing 2 sawmill machines.
A new 2010 website was launched for the ten year anniversary of Lanarkshire Hardwoods, developed as a response to demand for an eco-friendly, sustainably produced and ethically run UK hardwoods website where you could choose and buy small quantities of choice timber from the comfort of your home or accurately view the stock to see if what you wanted was available before making a trip out to visit the wood shop and select in person. This was followed by another edition in 2015 with an enhanced e-commerce buying wood online experience. This format is still in place but is constantly tweaked to improve it’s operation, as 2020 saw 2 decades of timber selling from The Wood Place premises, as the collection of businesses operating from Girdwoodend has for some time been called.