Charles Sidney Willment (1882 - 1972)
Charles Sidney Willment 1955
The Willment family have been in the construction industry since the early 1900s. Charles Sidney Willment began demolishing and reconstructing London, working closely with Sir Winston Churchill after the blitz. Willment Bros constructed the air raid shelter at Buckingham Palace in 1939.
Whilst legends speak of Winston Churchill himself giving the order to assemble the demolition professionals of the day as part of the war effort, the facts are more impressive. Charles Willment went on to become the National Federation of Demolition Contractors first and longest standing president and known as the founder of the wrecking ball. The Willment empire had at their disposal a 10,000 - man workforce that could be mobilised at a moments notice.
As the saying went "what Hitler didn't take down Charlie Willment did"
Other company names:
WILLMENT BROS est. 1919
WILLMENT READY MIX CONCRETE
WILLMENT CIVIL ENGINEERING
Environment Industry Magazine stated:
"Such was the relationship between the Federation and the Armed Forces that Willment and his fellow founding father Sam Allison were temporarily granted the honorary rank of major in the Army when they took part in a British mission to report on the problems of clearing up the bomb damage in Germany and, in particular, Berlin.
At the same time as they were mobilising men and machines to keep the Home Front safe from unstable buildings, the founding fathers of the Federation were already turning their attentions to the challenges of a post-war future.
But for all the far sightedness of the original NFDC committee, demolition in the 1940's was certainly no bed of roses with an ongoing shortage of steel and iron due to the war effort, operatives were often expected to provide their own tools and personal protective equipment generally meant a cloth cap."
James and Daniel Willment have continued to build on their great grandfathers’ success. Restoring historic buildings holds a high point of interest for the father and son team, who sympathetically restore properties using both traditional and sustainable materials.
Nick Winstone & James Willment
Daniel began his apprenticeship in Carpentry & Joinery with Swift Crafted Ltd. restoring and developing commercial listed buildings in London: fitting traditional sliding sash windows in Liverpool Street to hand cut mansard roofs in Oxford Street.
Progressing to trainee site manager, overseeing commercial sites around London and the home counties. After completing his 6yr apprenticeship he spent 3yrs working for Urban Fern (a property developer in Surrey) before joining the Willment family business.
Today his interests and focus are design, conservation and restoration. Daniel is passionate about countryside living and offsite he enjoys music/singing, restoring cars, fishing and playing tennis.
City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Craft Carpentry & Joinery
National Award Construction
HNC Construction Management
HND Construction Management
CIS Supervisor & Management Certified
The Willment portfolio acquired three Marinas during the 1960's. James managed these projects throughout the 1980's before moving into property development in the 1990's.
He then moved on to restoring a grade 2 listed Windmill in Surrey.
Designing and building new build executive homes around Surrey.
With a strong personal interest in music production, he has used his development acumen to create some spectacular recording studio's as part of building restoration projects.