County keeps its customers close
Published: 05 September, 2012
CHELTENHAM: County Building Supplies, whose slogan is 'the happiest builders' merchants in the world', is celebrating its long-time relationship with happy customers this month. Some have been buying from County for 40 years.
Managing director Martyn Rees recalls how he began to forge long-term business relationships and friendships with CJ Bayliss, SC Joseph and Hereford Boiler Services.
"I first called on all three 40 years ago. I was the youngest rep ever for Sharpe & Fisher and had moved to Hereford, staying in digs for two years before I got married.
"I called on Ray of CJ Bayliss a few years after he had taken over from his father. He must have been about 24 or 25, both of us still young with dark hair in those days. CJ Bayliss are now the largest buildings in Hereford with a turnover of approximately £6m.
"We at County have supplied them with general building materials for the last 25 years even delivering to a farmhouse they renovated for Prince Charles, who, unfortunately, when Ray met him would not let him use the term 'Appointment to the Royal Household' as it was a one off job. Ray has semi retired now but the family continues to run the business with Mike Bayliss taking over from his father.
"I first met Steve Joseph of SC Joseph when he was in partnership with his brother. Now Steve runs the business with his wife Val, and her son Matt. All those years ago did they ever play me up, using a length of copper tube as a blow pipe with putty, aiming at my legs, or higher; splattering me with plaster and other things I dare not mention. I still go to the office every Thursday, mainly to see Matt, but Steve is usually there giving me some stick.
"Dave Llewelyn at Hereford Boiler Services still remembers the time he was working on a fire station on the borders of Wales about 7.30 at night when I turned up. In those day there was no escape, both young and keen.
"We've had some really good nights together with our wives, even celebrating my 21st. They still have a photo of us at their son's christening. We've supplied Dave’s company with various goods from sanitarywear to air source heat pumps. We hope to visit our supplier of heat pumps in Italy together in the Autumn."