Family owned building and restoration contractor, William Birch & Sons Ltd of Osbaldwick, is celebrating its 140th year in business in the city of York.
To mark the occasion the business is supporting the Poppy Road Poppy Project, a living memorial to commemorate the centenary of those who died in the First World War.
The project aims to turn empty land in Holgate into wildflower poppy meadows to mark the centenary of the Great War.
Chris Birch, chairman of the business, said:
“The end of the First World War was a turning point for the William Birch business, and we were heavily involved in the post-war reconstruction in York, working on housing projects such as that at Tang Hall.
“It therefore seemed particularly fitting that we support the Poppy Road Poppy Project to mark our 140th year in business as a thank you and a reminder of all those that served in the war 100 years ago”.
William Birch was founded in the city of York in 1874 by William Birch who was soon joined by his three sons to expand the business.
Since that time three more generations have been at the helm of the company.
Currently, Chris Birch, chairman, and fourth generation of the family is joined by Alistair Birch (fifth generation) as finance director and for the first time in the history of the business a non-family member is in the role of managing director, Paul Goyea.
Tina Abbott, Poppy Road Poppy Project, said:
“As head of fundraising for the Poppy Road Poppy Project, I have been in contact with many local businesses, both large and small.
“I was absolutely thrilled when William Birch & Sons Ltd signed up to donate at Platinum Sponsorship level.
“The company was established well before the beginning of the First World War, and the William Birch team see this Project as having a special relevance; their staff and their families were directly affected.
“We are very much looking forward to working with William Birch & Sons over the next four years, forging stronger links within our community and sharing the local stories that make us who we are today.”
A team from William Birch will be assisting in the planting and working with the local community to create the flowering meadows, which are hoped to be flowering in July – in time for the beginning of the First World War’s centenary period.