The history of W. J. Trotman Builders goes back
over 90 years when William John Trotman (pictured
on the right) returned from the Great War in 1919 and
decided to set up a building business with his fellow
soldier, Private Ledbury. Four years later, when Ledbury
emigrated to Canada, William John (commonly known as Jack)
took the reins of the company and so W. J. Trotman Builders
was founded. Based at his home in Dean, in the parish
of Cranmore, East Somerset, Jack carried out repairs in
the local area, including extensive maintenance to Cranmore
Hall for the Paget family.
In the 1930s, Jack Trotman constructed his first
new dwelling, an impressive home for his sister
Ella featuring a veranda to the front, situated
in the village of Doulting. Jack was subsequently
employed to build a series of other new properties,
including a bungalow in the same village.
How times have changed! Of historical
interest, a copy of Jack’s original estimate
of £830 for the build of the bungalow, dating
from 1934, can be seen at full size by clicking
the thumbnail image on the left.
The onset of World War II saw many of Jack’s employees
called up to active service. As the war ended, many of
them returned to the UK to then be sent up to London by
Jack to help the efforts to repair the extensive bomb
During the 1950s, Jack began construction of his own bungalow
known as Ashdene in the village of Cranmore. Upon its
completion, Ashdene became the registered office of W.
J. Trotman and so it would stay for the next 50 years.
Over the next two decades, Jack won several prestigious
contracts from Shepton Mallet Rural District Council to
construct much-needed council houses in Cranmore, Doulting
and the surrounding villages. At the same time, the company
continued to purchase plots of land on which they built
a number of private bungalows.
In the late 1950s, Jack’s son-in-law Leonard Reakes
became a part of the business, soon to be joined by his
son (Jack’s grandson) John in 1963. At the same
time, the business was officially registered with Companies
House and the W. J. Trotman Builders Limited that we know
today was formed. Building continued at an impressive
pace over the next two decades, with many contracts carried
out for Somerset County Council and other commercial organizations
as well as other private work.
Sadly, on 9th January 1990, Jack Trotman passed away at
the age of 92, and his grandson John Reakes took charge
of the company. Six years later, his son (Jack’s
great grandson) Tristan joined the family business and
the company experienced a new spate of growth as it secured
a series of prestigious contracts in the commercial and
In 2008 the business moved its offices from Jack’s
bungalow Ashdene to Quarry Way in Waterlip where the company
still resides to this day. W. J. Trotman Builders Limited
continues to proudly serve the surrounding area and its
residents, just as its founder had intended 91 years ago.
For a no obligation discussion on your
future projects, please telephone 01749 586 010 or click
here to email us with any enquiries.