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01 November 2016

Decorfolia celebrates 40 years in the Interior Landscaping Industry.

1976. Do you remember it, were you even born? Here are a few of the notable events from that year...

Britain is gripped by a heat wave with temperatures reaching 35°C followed by months of drought. Harold Wilson, the UK's prime minister, resigns avoiding the upcoming economic mess that he had identified as inevitable. A very much younger Rolling Stones play a sold out Knebworth, the Damned release New Rose the first ever 'punk rock' single to enter the British charts closely followed by the Sex Pistols with Anarchy in the UK. Meanwhile Brotherhood of Man win the Eurovision song contest with Save All Your Kisses For Me and Southampton FC win the FA Cup. Petrol costs just 17p per litre, the average wage is about £72 a week and only half the country has a phone (landline not mobile). Also notable for 1976 is the fact that Anita Roddick opens her first branch of The Body Shop in Brighton, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple in the USA and Bronwyn Burrell, with the support and backing of local nurseryman Hugh Stevenson, start an Interior Landscaping company that they call Decorfolia...

Over that 40 years Decorfolia has had just two Managing Directors, Bronwyn Burrell our founder and when she retired in 2000 I took up the mantle. My first job with Decorfolia way back in 1981 was as secretary to Bronwyn. I already had a keen interest in gardening and growing my own fruit and veg on my local allotment and it was not long before I started gaining experience with our tropical plants on the nursery. Soon I was out and about on the road helping with contracts and enjoying meeting our customers. In the 36 years I have been here members of staff have come and gone and we have celebrated weddings and births. Our next big occasion is the wedding of Mark Pearce's eldest son Michael who worked with us when he first left school. Of course in 40 years we have lost friends and some colleagues too and have felt these losses very keenly.

OK, so we may not have grown quite as big as Apple or The Body Shop but our company has weathered some of the most difficult financial moments in modern times and we have grown and slimmed down in line with the general economy. We are now watching and waiting to see where the next chapter of life after Europe will take us. I have devoted a large portion of my working life to Decorfolia and I am positive we will continue for many years to offer our personal, fair service, which I know many of our very long standing customers appreciate and often comment upon. Some years ago, not long after I purchased the company, I was asked by a prospective employee "Where do you see Decorfolia in 10 years time?" I can honestly say that my reply was to the effect - I don't want us to be the biggest or wealthiest company in the UK, but I want us to be known for providing an honest and loyal service, where old fashioned manners and integrity mean something. I do hope you will agree that we have managed to keep to our core principals and I will ensure that the Decorfolia team continues to honour these values for many years to come.

Happy 40th Birthday Decorfolia and let's raise a glass to the next 40...

Pat Butt (MD)

The pictures below show some of the people that have shared their lives with Decorfolia over the years.
Select a thumbnail to view a larger image and use the 'arrows' to navigate...

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Decorfolia Ltd 1976 - 2018