From here (deepest Beds) to Timbucktoo!

Fifty years in business is quite a milestone! From Potton in deepest Bedfordshire to Timbuktu in deepest Africa, Balaam Brothers has been fabricating and fencing for half a century.

The business has been run by Denis Balaam for the past 25 years but was established in 1964 by his father Edward and uncle Frederick.

Denis explained: “My father, who died in 1984, and Frederick were roofers at the time but, after finding out that fencing contractors earned more money without facing the risks associated with roofing, they decided to establish a fencing business down in Stevenage.

“Within eight years the business had relocated to a yard in the centre of Potton, near Sandy, and then relocated to larger premises in Potton. We’ve been here ever since,” added Denis.

Under Denis’s stewardship the business expanded into bespoke steel fabrication and construction complementing the fencing side of the business with a wide range of standard products as well as a capability to manufacture fully bespoke steelwork.

“As a fencing contractor we always had at least one welder at our yard so it made total sense to incorporate steel fabrication into what we can offer as a business,” said Denis.

The company’s ‘can do’ attitude is ably reflected in its strapline ‘simply contact us and you’re halfway there..we’ll do the rest’. It’s that ‘can do’ attitude that has recently led to an order for bespoke steelwork and gates for a tin mine in Timbuktu, Mali on the edge of the Sahara.

Sales Manager Colin Mayston, formerly Sales & Marketing Manager at Crowthorne, commented: “We live and breath fencing every day and whatever the customer query, we endeavour to answer ‘yes’! The order for Mali is a great example of that and we hope is the first of many as we bid to take the business forward. We’ve also had a recent enquiry from Senegal so we’re conquering Africa bit by bit!

“We have big ambitions to progress on the international sales front although the majority of our existing business, both fabricating and fencing installation, is in and around the Home Counties and East Anglia.

“We don’t pretend we can compete with the larger bulk producers on price but we can certainly provide the quality and level of flexibility to cater for the vast majority of customers’ needs,” added Colin.

Colin has been at Balaam Brothers for almost seven years. A recent addition to the senior management team is Project Manager Graham Almond whose appointment is viewed as a key piece of the jigsaw by Denis.

“We’ve got a great team in place in Colin, Graham and myself and I believe the three of us can really help this business progress. We all have decades of experience in the industry and know how to grow businesses.

“We currently have 16 full time staff and have been increasing our turnover at around 20% per year in recent times. That’s a steady, manageable increase that makes you realise we are on the right track.

“However we could easily double the size of the business in three years and that is one of our objectives,” added Denis who has been involved in the business since the age of 14, 42 years ago.

On the contracting front, Balaam Brothers’ fencing teams travel all over the south east fulfilling domestic, commercial and local authority contracts.

“With the flexibility and experience to match anybody. Balaam Brothers is clearly going places, including Timbuktu!” concluded Colin.

 
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