The Jennings Heritage

crestThe name Bradworthy Bi-Folds we have given to our quality doors is rich in family heritage and reflects the history and tradition of excellence in working with wood.

Our family business, Jennings Joinery, run by Neill and Ashley Jennings has a history that originates in England and dates
back well past the 1800 century from the town of Bradworthy in Devon.

With a family history and tradition of carpenters, wheelwrights, undertakers and joiners you can feel reassured that the Bradworthy Bi-Fold you buy today will have the same distinctive quality Jennings Joiners have been producing for the last 200 odd years.

heritage2BThe town of Bradworthy in Devon, England, is the home of the Jennings family as far back as the current family history can be traced.

There has been continuous community life in Bradworthy for over twelve hundred years, during which at least 40 generations have come and gone.

In the 19th century Bradworthy was considered to be a backward area and like much of the English countryside, families were born, lived and died in the same small area. In the 1841 census there are 35 Jennings family members listed, mostly farm workers, masons, wives and children, but 5 are listed as carpenters and already we can see the family tradition developing.

In a book on Bradworthy by Cecil T Collacott, a noted historian in the area, he has this to say about the Jennings family of “Old Bradworthy”.

“There was the Jennings family, carpenters, wheelwrights, joiners, undertakers. They were true craftsmen. There was no job in which timber was used that they could not handle and achieve a high standard of workmanship. I well remember looking in at their workshop, as a boy smelling the fragrance of well-seasoned timber and watching the wood shavings curl and fall before the great planes. Outside in the cobbled yard there would frequently be a new cart or butt or perhaps a fine four-wheeled “undershet” waggon, freshly painted in blue and striped with
red and white.”

heritage1B“At Lyles were the workshops of John Jennings (carpenter), pioneer in this neighbourhood of first, the modern bicycle and then the motor car, as well as the old Blackstone engines, widely used in our farm barns at that time. He was an expert on the bicycle and, as a young man, quite a champion at cycle racing. Throughout his life-he lived to be over 90-he was affectionately known as “Cycle” Jennings, and he was far too kind and generous ever to make a fortune. He brought the first car to Bradworthy in the early years of the century, probably one of the old Fords or “Tin Lizzies” as they were called.”

Stan Jennings, grandson of John, was another to follow in the family business and during a full life in which he worked till he was 80, lived for his work. He took over the business which had already been in the family for generations from his father Richard and worked as a joiner and cabinet maker on the liner Queen Mary, served with the air force in WWII and was a keen motor cyclist, riding in the London – Lands End Trials.

As the world changed many Bradworthy families emigrated to North America and Australia, the Jennings family amongst them.

Neill, who now runs the family business here, served his apprenticeship in the same family trade and with this history in his blood and the same “honest as the day is long” attitude noted in his forebears, once again crafts works of art in wood, a Jennings family heritage.

A heritage and distinctive quality you can enjoy in Bradworthy Bi-Fold doors.

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