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

  • Many thanks for your email and yes everything was great on site with regards to your barns thank you very much.

    Thank you for all your help and assistance prior to the event as well, it was much appreciated, as was the hard work from your guys installing and dismantling.

    Royal Windsor Endurance, May 2014

    Viv, vivevents

  • The temporary stable barns designed by Woodhouse for the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games were excellent and part of the success of the Games.

    The size of the stables, the width of the aisles and the quality of finish all contributed greatly to the horses’ comfort and safety.

    London Olympics

    Will Connell MBE, GBR Equestrian Team Leader

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