In the 1860s, as the new railway line was being laid from Ipswich to Norwich, a young man called Charles Gill and his half-brother James Youngs, looking for jobs, joined the railway gangs as bricklayers. Together they worked on the line as it extended its way from near their home in Long Stratton to Norwich. However, once in Norwich, both men decided to go their separate ways and get started on their own.
Charles set up in Trinity Street, initially building terraced houses. This was part of the great expansion of housing in the late 19th century (Norwich’s “golden triangle” was largely built in this period). Charles’ son Thomas in due course joined his father and expanded the business further, taking on more varied building contracts. In turn his son Sidney followed suit, and the company adopted the name T. Gill & Son. Sidney’s son Tom subsequently took over the running of the firm, followed in the 1970s by his son Andrew, the company’s current managing director.
Today the provision of community buildings goes on, alongside the building of houses for the ever-growing number of newcomers, lured by Norfolk’s charms. Locally, the built environment is evolving at an ever-increasing pace. The wheel of history turns and turns again and as always, T. Gill & Son will have its shoulder to the wheel.