William James Marston set up business in Fulham in 1895 to carry out repairs to the recently built Peterborough Estate houses belonging to the gas board as well as the surrounding industrial and municipal buildings. Postcards requesting repairs would be sent and received the same day and men would be dispatched to jobs with materials and ladders loaded into handcarts.
This marked the beginning of our strong links with the local area and the company moved to new premises on Wandsworth Bridge Road in 1910.
The very same building is still in Company ownership along with several adjoining properties it was converted in to seven flats for rental in 2013, keeping the building relevant and providing homes and places of work for over 120 years.
The Early Years - 1895 to the First World War
William Marston born in 1865 was a zinc and tin plate worker by trade. At 14 William was apprenticed to his father Thomas, a plate metal worker who made the breast plates for the household cavalry in Winstanley Road Battersea.
William went on to work for a building contractor ‘Roffeys’ of Putney until his mother died in 1895 prompting the start of his own business initially from his home in Hugon Road.
For over 100 years Marstons have continued to build and refurbish homes for private sale or rent, during the local authorities building boom years of the 1950’s and 60’s and from 1980’s for Social Landlords.
Building SW London
The business started in Fulham in 1895 and there are still familiar local landmarks around Fulham and South West London that are a reminder of the company’s building activities.
Some buildings have seen a change of use, some have been demolished and some have become unrecognisable but they all illustrate the social changes through South west London in the 20th century.
Marstons began building and developing hotels in 1938 halted only by war and economic downturns. By 2004 The Hotel business had grown to own eighteen freehold three and four star conference hotels across England all managed centrally from Kent.
From The Hythe Imperial in Kent to Aldwark Manor in Yorkshire the hotels were either newly built or enhanced in some way. Several members of the Marston family remained directly involved in the management business including Tony and Anne Marston who began their married life in 1961 running The Stade Court Hotel in Hythe.
Marston Hotels separated from the parent development company in 2000 and won AA best Hotel Group of the year in 2003. Marston Hotels was sold in 2006
Whilst the Company’s business roots are in construction and buildings it is of course the people that work for the company that make the difference. From the ‘beano’s in the 1950’s to the summer outings in the 21st century family and company events intertwine to form long lasting memories.