A FAMILY-RUN fitted furniture company has marked 50 years in business.
Conquest Fitted Furniture, in Fitzherbert Road, Farlington, held a celebration to mark its golden anniversary.
The firm’s founder John Adey was joined by his sons Jonathan and Richard and their wives Dawn and Lucy as they welcomed customers, colleagues and employees to the party.
John said: ‘When I started this business, I could never have imagined that I would be standing here celebrating 50 years in business.
‘I’ve worked with some great people over the years and made a lot of friends along the way.
‘So much has changed all around us and while our designs may have changed over the years, our approach hasn’t.
‘We still pay attention to every detail and insist on the perfect finish and fit.’
John originally trained as an apprentice pattern maker with shipbuilders Vosper in Portsmouth in 1957 from the age of 15.
His ability to carve intricate patterns and moulds in wood with engineering levels of precision soon got him noticed.
When he set up Conquest in 1966, the company was producing moulds, models and castings for big industrial customers such as Marconi Defence Systems, for whom it created a scale model of the Skynet 2 space satellite.
Over time Conquest’s reputation grew and in 1977, the opportunity to take a first step in the home furniture direction came, when the owner of a neighbouring business asked if they could make him a kitchen for his home in Langstone.
He was delighted with his new kitchen and soon afterwards a steady stream of requests from others began to arrive. John decided this should be the future direction for Conquest, where their skills for precision woodworking would be suited to making kitchens and fitted home furniture.
Conquest continues to be a true family business to this day, focused on quality and cherishing a reputation for customer care.
John’s son Jonathan, general manager, said: ‘We are one of the last remaining furniture companies with national reach that continues to employ all of our own people, from designers and furniture-makers right through to the fitters that install the furniture.
‘It’s the only way we can be certain that the customer enjoys the best possible experience from start to finish. There are many people who value this approach and we can look forward to a bright and exciting future.’
At the celebration Jonathan shared a new website and short film called The Conquest Story, which documents and celebrates the history of Conquest over the past 50 years.
One of Conquest’s longest-serving employees, furniture designer Eric Pollard, presented John Adey with a crystal glass decanter and a 50-year-old bottle of vintage brandy to commemorate the occasion.