Keeping it in the family

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The Naylor family can trace its ancestry back around 300 years to Daniel Naylor, who was a brick maker from Scholes, near Huddersfield.

But it wasn’t until a near disaster for the Naylor family that the present day company was formed.

Current chief executive Edward Naylor’s great great grandfather, a brick maker and railway contractor George William Naylor had won the contract to build the Denby Dale viaduct and was losing money on it.

In a bid to make at least some money out of the deal, his son, George Wilfred, came up with the idea of using tonnes of clay, discovered when workmen were excavating the viaduct’s foundations, to make pipes and bricks.

In 1890, two years after George William’s death, and at the tender age of 20, George Wilfred officially registered the business that is now Naylor Industries.

Today, the company comprises six divisions, one making clay pipes, three making plastic products, a gardenware business and a company making concrete lintels.

“We’d fiddled with concrete since the 1960s,” says Edward Naylor.

“The business just chugged along, never really growing, so we put some effort into it and now it has a £4 million turnover and is growing nicely. We have tried to focus on more specialised products – high performance and aesthetic.”

Instead of being hidden away, Naylor’s lintels are designed to become architectural features.

They also offer properties like high levels of fire resistance which make them attractive to public places like hospitals, nursing homes, student accommodation, sports stadia and larger construction products.

What’s more, Naylor provides a lot of technical back up to its construction industry customers, including specialist design and engineering.

Since Edward Naylor took the helm at the family business in 1993 there has been a continuing programme of investment in modernisation, development and diversification.

Kilns have been replaced, updated and automated, contributing to a dramatic improvement in quality that has resulted in scrap rates falling from 30 per cent to just seven per cent.