A CENTURY ago the Great War ended and the world began to rebuild.

And in Tiptree a young carpenter and joiner planted the seeds for a construction company which would grow to a point it would play a major part in some of the area’s most distinctive buildings.

This month T J Evers celebrated its centenary with a number of celebrations and has taken the opportunity to look back at its ten decades of history.

Thomas James Evers established the company immediately after the end of the First World War, having spent the majority of it building reconnaissance aircraft.

His great grandson, Alan, who is now part of the board which runs the hugely successful company explains projects were on a smaller scale in the early days.

Post-war Essex needed homes and this meant there were opportunities for those with the right skills to build them.

Alan explains his great grandfather Thomas was born in the 1880s so would have been in his late twenties or early thirties when he set up the business.

Thomas’ son, also Alan, then took over the company in the early 1930s.

“Alan was still there until the 1970s and it was him that transformed it really from being a jobbing building firm to taking on major projects and schemes.

“When he arrived it would have been a difficult time, with the recession, and he steered it through that.

“My grandfather was quite a businessman and it was him that turned it into a solid construction company working on big projects.”

By the Second World War T J Evers was building barracks and pill boxes.

Alan’s business partner and friend Reg Adams was also on board and working closely with him.

Alan’s father Michael, Thomas’ grandson, joined the company in the mid 1950s and then Alan himself in the 1990s.

He is one of the current directors along with Mervyn Denney, Steve Ewers, Kevin Howell and Simon Cooper while Kevin Browning, who served on the board for two decades will remain in the business for the next six months before retiring in April.

A trip around mid and north Essex will reveal a host of familiar projects T J Evers has been instrumental in over the years.

These include the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, Wickham Bishops Village Hall, the visitors centre at Abberton Reservoir, Harwich RNLI and new student accommodation at Essex University.

It has also been involved in projects at Papworth Hospital and within the historic Dutch Quarter in Colchester.

It now has more than 100 employees and is a principal contractor completing projects with values up to £6million alongside smaller projects.

There are also few schools in the area which have not had the benefit of an Evers building over the years.

The company has also this year worked on housing developments in Sawbridgeworth and Ely and office accommodation in Cambridgeshire.

The most recently completed project is a new barn farm shop and café at Glebe Farm, East Mersea which will be opening for visitors early in the new year.

The company says its strength lies with the people it employs and all staff members enjoyed a celebratory party earlier this year at Braxted Park.

Steve Ewers, Director at T J Evers and Chairman of Essex Construction Training Award (ECTA) says: “T J Evers has always worked towards changing the sometime poor perception of the industry and we will continue to work with the youth of today – both boys and girls – in order to encourage them to pursue a career in construction.”

Alan Evers, adds: “We are proud to be celebrating this amazing milestone of reaching 100 years.

“T J Evers prides itself on its work ethics being focused on the future and motivated to provide great opportunities for all staff.

“We have invested in our infrastructure, encourage promotion from within and support many apprentices and degree students.”

And throughout its 100 years the company has remained operating from its headquarters in new Road, Tiptree – although their modes of transport may have changed slightly.

Vehicles were probably introduced by the 1940s and ‘50s, including the one pictured here, with upgrades taking place through the decades.

T J Evers also now has its own electrical department and a joinery department.

* If you have any photographs of major events in the history of north and mid Essex or this article has jogged your memory please contact us on 01206 508186.