Woodhouses 1980 to 1989: The Thatcher Years
The 1980’s witnessed a revival in confidence across the UK as runaway inflation slowed and an era of lower taxation and reduced government control of industry and services was introduced by the Thatcher administration. In this more entrepreneurial business environment, innovative minds developed new products and services which began to change the face of the outdoor show and event industry. These new offerings ranged from grandstand tribunes to temporary roadways and early steel frame structures to more lavish hospitality marquees. The 1980’s also signalled the beginning of significant growth in live outdoor concerts and festivals. All in all it was an exciting decade of rising expectations, rapid expansion and market deregulation. However the boom-bust cycle was not beaten and in October 1987 the unpredicted Hurricane hit London and there followed the Black Friday stock market crash, a property market collapse and a deep recession which closed out the 1980s.
With this as the backdrop the 4th generation Woodhouse brothers Robert, Michael and Richard took-up the reins of the Woodhouses business at the close of the 1981 show and event season and on the retirement of the 3rd generation brothers Leslie (70) and Bruce (65).
Across this decade stocks of traditional Woodhouses green & white Shedding doubled to meet the expansion of national shows and events, as did the demand for temporary stabling and grandstand seats. This expansion kept the joinery and canvas workshops busy through the low season and drove an expansion in the hire equipment storage facility at Ruddington.