William Hermon Bond was a tenant of Port Eliot Estate. His farm expanded from around 30 acres supplemented by a local milk round until the family were able to move to nearby Trerulefoot in 1942 to a larger 140 acre farm. William could see that the rapid improvement in yields were going to cause over-production and told his three sons – Jim, Hermon and Martin – that they would “farm themselves out of business”. This piece of advice would lead the Bond family to become “serial diversifiers” for the next 60 years with a variety of businesses. The Bond family knew that diversification was the way forward and this started in the 1930’s when the bed and breakfast and caravan site began. A few years later, William joined forces with his three sons and in 1957, WH Bond & Sons was formed.
1957 - 1990
1990 - 2010
WH Bond & Sons is formed. Initially a family farming business, the Bonds soon develop an interest to diversify, as per the advice of Mr William Hermon Bond. The Bond family had already started to diversify prior to this with launching a bed & breakfast facility and caravan site, but with the new generation of Bonds – Jim, Hermon and Martin – on board, the family has bigger plans. This passion for diversification leads the Bond family to create and build St. Mellion Golf & Country Club (now known as St. Mellion International Resort), which is opened by Mr WH Bond in 1976. As part of this venture, in 1989 the Bond family travels to the USA to meet with Jack Nicklaus; working together they design and build the first Jack Nicklaus golf course in the UK.
1997 sees the next generation – Jon, Chris and Alison – take over the daily running of WH Bond & Sons. Due to the success of St. Mellion and several other projects the family had completed in the past, it is decided to expand the business. Thus, the Plant Hire and Civil Engineering departments are set up. By 2003, WH Bond is turning over £300,000 a year. Having acquired Bake Sawmill as part of the land at Trerulefoot – the family decides to take over the company and re-brand it as Bond Timber. The next few years are to host large expansions at Bond Timber – with several new treatment tanks and storage sheds installed.
2011 - 2015
2016 - 2018
With the decision made in 2011 to relocate to larger premises at St. Ive (Liskeard), the WH Bond Plant Hire fleet can continue to grow. In 2014, the fleet reaches 400 machines. In 2015, further expansion at Bond Timber with a new drying shed built to almost double the storage facilities onsite. The WH Bond hire fleet now contains over 20 articulated dump trucks, over 120 excavators of all sizes, and the company have just purchased their 150th Toyota Hilux.
2015 Bond Timber win Treated Wood Trader of the Year at the inaugral Wood Protection Association, success followed with Bond Timber winning Wood Preservation Project of the Year for supplying Hangloose at the Eden Project & Award for Quality Excellence at the 2016 Wood Protection Association Awards.
2019 - PRESENT
Bond Timber win ‘Treated Wood Quality Excellence Award’ at the Wood Protection Association Awards.
The directors make the decision to retire from plant hire & agricultural equipment sales. Due to market conditions, coupled with the uncertainty of how Brexit will affect the plant and machinery sectors,
Chris Bond comments, “Since 1957 when, WH Bond was founded, we have always been proud of our ability to identify trends in the market, which led the family to become the ‘serial diversifiers’ we are today. For the last 62 years this has enabled the business to survive and thrive, and now, once again, we are doing just that. We are looking at our core business, making the right decision for the group, and diversifying.”
The decision enables the management to focus on developing the farming, timber and contracting side of the business, with future diversification into new and exciting projects. Bond Timber, bespoke contracting and agricultural businesses will continue trading as usual.”
Nearly 1,600 items sell under the hammer at the largest machinery auction of its kind in the South West.
Chris Bond, said: “The west country has never seen a sale of this magnitude and is unlikely to see one again, I’m sure!
“We are delighted with the outcome of the two days and all the hard work leading up to this event. The WH Bond team and the Euro Auctions crew worked seamlessly to firstly prepare for the sale, as well as executing the auction on the days of the auction.
“The local contracting and agricultural communities in the west country really bought into this event, with over 1,000 visitors attending on each day.”