Having spent his working life as an engineer in the aircraft industry, at 50, the New Zealand born Peter decided he would like to pursue his passion and become a full-time cabinet maker in a place that he knew and loved, Cumbria, in the very north-west of England. So along with his wife, Mary and teenage son, Jeremy, they bought a house and found a piece of land in Staveley with five garages and Peter Hall Woodcraft as it was initially known was 'born'.
Amazingly and coincidentally, before his father set up this business, Jeremy had decided that he wanted to be a maker of 'special' furniture, so at 16 went off to Leeds College of Art for 2 years, attaining City & Guilds in cabinet making. Following that he worked for a couple of furniture makers in Yorkshire before gaining a place at West Dean College near Chichester in West Sussex to study Antique Furniture Restoration. Jeremy worked in Oxfordshire for a year, but ultimately he fulfilled his ambition to move back to the Lakes and work with his father. When in 1979, along with his wife Diana, he relocated to Kendal and joined the business.
By this time Peter had 3 other cabinet makers working for him and sales were gaining momentum, in both the furniture and woodturned items sold from the workshops.
With Jeremy offering restoration services, the business continued to grow and in 1983, Jeremy started to train his first apprentice.
John Griffiths, a then 16 year old school leaver was taken on. He was a very dedicated and enthusiastic initiate who has developed into an extremely knowledgeable, capable and respected conservator.
John was the first in what was to become a long line of apprentices. In total, 21 young people have trained through Peter Hall & Son. We currently have 4 young men at various stages of their apprenticeships in the workshop.
Shortly after John's appointment, it was decided that the service could be further enhanced with an upholsterer, and David, a fully skilled man was employed. More than 25 years later he continues to furnish our homes with superb new upholstery as well as offering a full re-upholstery service for much-cherished existing sofas and chairs.
In more recent years, a section of the workshops was converted to an interior design studio and an enthusiastic interior designer was appointed to run this department. Gill stepped out on maternity leave 3 years ago and Shirley came in her place. In due course Gill returned on a part-time basis and now, the two work alongside each other.
Woodturning has always been a part of the business and we have been lucky enough to have some very creative turners over the years. Our showroom displays an excellent selection of turned pieces which stand alone as well as complementing our furniture which is also on show here.So, today Peter Hall & Son employs 17 staff and the wooden shed has become the machine shop surrounded by workshops, a studio, the showroom, various stores and largest of all a huge wood store shed. And all set in wonderful countryside on the edge of the village. We now offer a complete service to our clients looking for superb quality of service, design and finished product.