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.

1982 HRH Prince Philip visits the stabling yard at HOYS Wembley

1987 H.M. The Queen at Royal Norfolk Show.

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).

1981 HOYS Wembley

1981 3rd & 4th Generation Woodhouses pre-retirement. Michael, Robert, Leslie, Bruce & Richard.

November 1981 Retirement Letter LV & BC Woodhouse

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.

1984 Canvas Room Ruddington

1985 Suffolk Show 40’ Shedding Members Pavilion

1987 Secretary’s Office Goodwood and Burghley

  • Thanks for all the hard work Woodhouse put in to make GRP and the Games the success they were.

    GRP was a favourite venue of many and Woodhouse had a sound reputation among the site team and other stakeholders. I wish you and the Woodhouse all the best for the future.

    London Olympics

    Natalie Bemrose, Contracts Manager Venues & Infrastructure LOCOG

  • Following another very successful air tattoo I would like to extend my sincere thanks to LH Woodhouse.

    Having done this show for 15 years, predominantly with the same contractors it is always a nervous time bringing in a new contractor for their first time at the show. Your staff where first class, their conduct, attitude to work and attention to detail was excellent. The equipment was clean and well erected in a precise line. I have received nothing but positive feedback about the equipment and hopefully this will now lead to better things next year. Thanks again to your team at LH Woodhouse.

    A3 Events 2014

    Jon Wilding,

  • L H Woodhouse was a pleasure to work with and generally, I think your installation went really well.

    You managed to comply with all of our requirements and maintained the programme throughout. It was evident to us that you had not worked on a strict CDM site before but it did not take long for you to respond and work in a safe manner at the speed the programme required. Your product appeared well received and well-constructed and we wish you success in your future ventures. Thanks from all the team at ISG.

    London Olympics

    David Fisher, Venue Delivery Project Manager ISG Principal Contractor

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