Alan Evans, who was a major shareholder in Charles Ransford & Son Ltd of Bishop’s Castle and a Director of the company would have been 80 years old today. He died at Christmas time 6 years ago. Alan was one of the key players in saving the sawmill from bankruptcy in 1978 when he and his older brother Brian bought the mill for just £100. Along with the mill came £1.5 million of debts to the bank and trade creditors – every penny of which was paid off over the following 5 years.
Alan was one of the most respected business figures in Shropshire and the Marches and was noted for his fairness and straightness. He and Brian built on a business tradition started first by their grandfather and then by their father, and were involved not only in the mill and a poultry and egg packing businesses but also in farming, forestry, and in the ownership of the Mellington Hall Estate.
In buying the mill Alan and Brian saved scores of jobs in their home town of Bishop’s Castle and established the financial conditions for the creation of one of the most advanced sawmilling operations of its kind in the UK. The mill is thriving, it is still a family owned business, and it continues to invest in the future.
The picture shows Mr Alan Evans beside a Volvo F88. The vehicle was delivered new to the business in 1978 and was restored just before Alan’s death. It worked for both A Evans & Son Ltd and for Ransfords when Alan and Brian Evans took on the mill.