The timber people: a history of Bunnings Limited

 
9780958910804: The timber people: a history of Bunnings Limited
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Had brothers Robert and Arthur Bunning stuck to their plans, theirs might have become a household name in America rather than Australia. As members of an East London artisan family used to travelling overseas to find work, they sailed into Fremantle on the SS Elderslie in June 1886 intending to visit a sister and brother-in-law before sailing on to California. They were builders with skills in carpentry and stone masonry, and after deciding to stay in Australia they won a contract to build additions to the Fremantle lunatic asylum. This was followed by more work building a stone hospital and post office at Roebourne, 1600 kilometres north of Perth. Robert Bunning, who was 27 when he arrived, remained in control of the business for 50 years until his death in 1936. Arthur, 23, was regarded as a finer craftsman but after a bad fall from a horse in 1888 his injuries precluded him from taking business decisions. However, he remained with the family business and died in 1929. During Western Australia's gold boom in the 1890s, Bunning Brothers became timber merchants, brick makers and building suppliers but in the early 1900s it concentrated on the development and expansion of sawmills and timber yards in the south-west of the state. Bunning Brothers Limited was incorporated in April 1907. It survived a fire in 1914, the Great War and the Depression, and also pioneered the use of motor transport to haul timber. Robert's sons Joe, Charles and Tom took over the business after their father's death and enlarged it. They went back to making bricks and during the Second World War, Bunning Brothers teamed with the rival Perth group Millars at the request of the federal Ministry of Munitions. They became shipbuilders and built the small "snake" boats used by the famous Z force to land on Japanese-controlled territory in Asia.

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MILLS, Jenny
Published by Bunnings Ltd (1986)
ISBN 10: 0958910804 ISBN 13: 9780958910804
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Published by Bunnings Ltd (1986)
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