Reclaimed parquet – where it comes from…

Reclaimed parquet and its beginnings

I have been thinking about the beginnings of reclaimed parquet because I recently read a very interesting article by Paul Gibson on the history of timber yards in and around Hull docks, and I had no idea there were so many! I was researching the name of a couple of timber merchants: Calder, stamped on the back of some parquet blocks we had reclaimed from an ex-commercial premises in Leicester, and the other from a school in Birmingham, J.A. Hewetson & Co. Ltd., which lead me to the article.

The timber stamped with J.A. Hewetson came from Hull, and that is where I came to find the fascinating article about the size and scale of Hull docks. As the photo below shows, the tree trunks that were shipped into Hull were man-sized. They came from all over the world but especially Africa. The timber yards would take the trunks and process it into wood block flooring amongst other things. J.A. Hewetson was operating in the latter half of the 19th century, and into the first half of the 20th century, so for over a hundred years it cut down timber into all shapes and sizes for the domestic and commercial market.
Hull Dockyard c 1930 a source of reclaimed parquet

Hull Dockyard c 1930 – reclaimed parquet in the making

 

The parquet which was stamped with the maker’s name of Calder was a very beautiful African hardwood, mainly from West and Central Africa. The timber was transported in entire trunks and this was called ‘in the trunk’. It was processed at Calder’s mill, in Boston, Lincolnshire. Calder continues today, importing and processing timber, still through the Lincolnshire port.

Exotic and tropical

This is what is so exciting about reclaimed parquet and what it represents. There is a huge variety. Then the history and provenance offers connection. There is also rarity of species. It can be wonderful quality too but for such a reasonable cost. Click here to see what we have available.
If you want to read the very interesting history of Hull’s timber and docks follow this link: http://www.paul-gibson.com/history/the-timber-industry.php