Empress Timber celebrates its 20th year

1st November 2021 sees the 20th birthday of the Lancashire timber agency, Empress Timber. 

Set up in a spare bedroom in his house in Euxton, Phil Walsh has grown the company from those meagre beginnings to a thriving asset within the timber trade. 

Putting buyers and sellers together through his extensive knowledge and experience, which is even more important in these trying and testing times for supply.

Phil has worked in the timber industry for over 35 years and in that time has built up a large network of suppliers and contacts. 

Starting in the softwood sector at P. H. Haydock’s timber merchants in Chorley as a commercial apprentice, he worked in every department from the mill to a sales rep. 

This gave him an excellent background in the whole timber industry.  After a couple more sales jobs at softwood companies, he then moved into the hardwood sector at James Webster & Sons where he really found his niche. 

And started to build the portfolio of contacts in the hardwood trade that he utilises today.

The main product he supplies are hardwood external door blanks from a Dutch manufacturer called Mill Panel. 

African Okoume veneers are bonded together with an aluminium vapour barrier just under the surface to form a door blank that is security tested, fire-rated and also has a 10-year stability guarantee. 

They can be machined at any point because you will never find any core gaps, as stipulated by the Dutch Govt test lab and BMTRADA QMark accreditation that they are manufactured under.  Various core materials can then be incorporated such as foam for insulation and cork for extra fire retardancy. 

Different faces are available from plywood to MDF, to MR MDF to Tricoya.  Paper overlay face coverings are also available for smoother face finishes.  These doors have been supplied into various prestigious jobs including being used by the New York Fire Department and Centre Parcs. 

They are also used extensively by local authorities up and down the country and in Ireland.

Phil also offers packs of hardwoods from the quay stocks of a couple of importing agents.  These include North and South American species, African species and Asian species. 

He also offers European species through an Austrian mill along with matching veneers from the same forests for colour continuation. 

This is a real asset and meant him recently winning a job to supply European Oak for the refit of the corridors of the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon. 

Where consecutive large runs of matching veneer were imperative.

Keruing lorry trailer flooring is also available.  He offers the standard 22mm and 28mm thicknesses in Half Lap pattern.  And can also offer thicker boards for the more demanding jobs such as plant and farm trailers.

Everything he supplies is fully certified whether that be through FSC or PEFC.

Phil has been happily married to Elaine for over 26 years.  With three grown-up sons who are all doing very well in their own fields, although none has shown an interest in coming into the timber business. 

He loves playing golf as a member of Chorley GC and is currently the secretary of the Liverpool Timber Trade Golf Society which has networking events throughout the year. 

He also partakes in Crown Green Bowling which is a family passion, although he isn’t as good as his sons who have all represented Lancashire.

For more information on the services offered, you can visit the Empress Timber website or call 01257 269596 to speak with Phil direct.