Island Joinery Company History

Island Joinery was established in 1975 by Nigel Abbott & Des Sprake. After Nigel served his apprenticeship at Moreys, Newport he was approached by the local builder in his home village of Wroxall. Jim Hales asked him if he would be prepared to take on the job of workshop manager in his busy joiners shop.

   At the time Jim said he could offer Nigel at least two years work, Nigel decided to take the chance and leave Moreys which at the time was considered to be as good as a job for life and see how things went, no doubt his decision was partly influenced by the slight pay increase and the fact that he would only have to cross the road to get to work in the morning.

      When Jim decided to retire from the building trade in 1975 he asked Nigel if he would like to buy the joinery shop, Nigel discussed this with Des Sprake (who at the time was working as a joiner in the shop) and between them they bought the workshop complete with contents & works van. The old chapel in front of the workshop which served as Jims offices and store was also part of the purchases made when they bought the business, the chapel was later converted into a house.

The workshop

      After a slightly slow start things started to pick up as Nigel built a reputation on quality workmanship and a willingness to take on any challenge put before him, the reputation was spreading fast around the Island's small community and work was soon pouring in, in 30 years of trading that is how things continued with never a need to advertise for or worry about where the next job would come from.

    I joined Nigel in 1993 shortly after Des retired, after working on site for a few years. Since then Nigel has taught me a great deal and not just about Joinery. Other than my passion of craft and the materials I work with the one thing I gained from Nigel is his willingness to take on any project that presents itself which keeps our work varied, interesting and progressive.

  When Nigel was forced to retire at the end of 2004 due to ill health I was handed the reins and I still remain seriously commited to continue to build upon Nigels firm business foundations.