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Rory Millar

Founder
Rory Millar

Founder

English Oak Buildings founder Rory was introduced to timber frame building over 28 years ago by the French Master Carpenter Frederic Brillant. He was apprentice to Frederic in his workshop on Vashon, an island off the Seattle coast where it was soon clear that he had found his vocation. Coming to England Rory soon found himself working on important new builds and restoration projects, including the rebuilding of Windsor Castle. Branching out on his own was the logical progression, and with more and more work coming his way Rory set up English Oak Buildings with Mark in 1999.

Favourite Movie?

I can’t choose just one film but my favorite filmmakers are David Lynch, The Coen Brothers & Scorsese

Favourite meal?

Anchovy paste
Selection of fish dishes
Duck
Blackberry & apple pie with vanilla ice cream –
Chocolate mousse

Dream Holiday:

Sailing around the south pacific, as I haven’t been. Sailing anywhere would be fine!

Mark Hulford

Designer
Mark Hulford

Designer

After leaving school, Mark worked for five years specialising in hand converting timber, woodland products and timber framing. After achieving a first class honours degree in fine art sculpture, he set up English Oak Buildings with Rory in 1999, and now spends his time as a frame designer. When he’s not at work he can be found cycling around the Mendips.

 

What was your favourite project and why?

Menkea Wartha – has a bit of all the good stuff

Favourite Biscuit?

Chocolate Leibniz

Favourite Movie?

This is England/Big Lebowski

Favourite meal?

Sushi

Favourite Place?

Sanna Bay, Ardnamurchan Peninsula, Scotland

Favourite Band/Singer:

Joanna Newsom

Dream Holiday:

In a beautiful wooden building on the coast for swimming, near some mountains for cycling and in the wilderness for walking and wildlife.

Dexter Buxton

Workshop Manager
Dexter Buxton

Workshop Manager

I started my career doing a one year apprenticeship in general carpentry. I then joined English Oak Buildings in January 2014 again as an apprentice, but this time specialising in structural post and beam framing. I am now the Workshop Manager & Health & Safety Officer and rumour have it I am  “enthusiastic and crucial to the smooth running of the workshop with Mat”. My past times include motorbiking, cars and cycling.

What was your favourite project and why?

ROYDS – due it being a complicated design and looks amazing once finished.

Favourite Biscuit?

Triple chocolate chip cookie

Favourite meal?

Lamb with roast potatoes

Favourite Place?

Skiing in the French Alps

Favourite Band:

Mumford and Sons

Dream Holiday:

Scuba Diving in the Bahamas

Rob Durand

Timber Framer
Rob Durand

TIMBER FRAMER

After starting out as a bookseller, I spent sixteen years in the family business in Surrey making and restoring early keyboard instruments. A developing interest in heritage buildings and the traditional methods of timber framing combined with a move to the west country a new career was forged. I gained an NVQ3 in heritage carpentry supported by a heritage Lottery Fund bursary and Nigel Howe at OFTF, working on heritage and eco-build projects around the country. I joined English Oak Buildings in the spring of 2019.

Wood is such a versatile and beautiful material, capable of being fashioned into books, musical instruments, buildings and it is fascinating to explore its possibilities and applications.

When not working I enjoy bird watching, permaculture and music, playing bass guitar in a band.

 

What was your favourite project and why? The Newmarket Barns were my first project here at EOB and the largest I had so far been involved with. The moment when months of work in the yard and the separate elements of the build come together on site, as these two 7 bay sling braced barns emerged, were magical.

Favourite Biscuit?

Something plain and simple like a Rich Tea.

Favourite Movie?

Love Actually

Favourite meal?

Something that takes a long time to prepare like Hekart

Favourite Place?

The Isle of Mull, great walking, great wildlife and my favourite whisky

Favourite Band:

The Sixteen

Dream Holiday:

Overland to New Zealand

Ali Nott

Office Manager
Ali Nott

Office Manager

I spent the first stage of my working life researching, planning and leading expeditions around the World for kids aged between 14 and 18. Having now had my own children (4) and having lived and worked in Asia, Africa and Australasia I am the Office Manager at English Oak Buildings. Although having nothing to do with the practical creation of the product, I really enjoy watching the carpenters hand carving the timber frames and seeing the oak in its finished form. When I am not organising the team here I am leading Forest School groups, running, cycling, working on our small holding or spending time with my family.

Favourite Biscuit?

Milk Chocolate Mcvities digestive.

Favourite Movie?

Guardians of the Galaxy 1

Favourite meal?

Pad Thai at a street stall in Thailand

Dream Holiday:

Sailing the Pacific

Will Rumney

Team Leader
Will Rumney

Senior Framer – Team Leader

I made the natural transition from jazz trombone player to carpenter in 2012 and have never looked back. After my training, I spent a few years as a wheel wright and then joined the team at English Oak Buildings in August 2015. I used to play trombone in a band called Antelope and now my musical performances tend to take place here in the workshop!  When not in the yard I can be found tinkering on my house or rambling around Britain in my Suzuki Jimny, touring with my trombone and occasionally scuba diving.

 

 

What was your favourite project and why?

The Newmarket Barns. An excellent mix of sling braces, Full HIPS with dragon ties and valleys, wind braces and chunky bottom plates. An epic frame with some lovely creative processes.

Favourite Biscuit?

Can you go wrong with a chocolate finger?

Favourite Movie?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Favourite meal?

Anything at all, providing its sausages

Favourite Place?

The Blue Jug on Dartmoor

Favourite Band:

Dire Straights

Dream Holiday:

Anywhere with the wife and the mutt!

Noah Walters

Framer
Noah Walters

Timber Framer – Apprentice

I first started to learn about carpentry at college and then was lucky enough to gain an apprenticeship position at English Oak Buildings. I am really enjoying learning about timber framing and working with wood to make amazing structures. In my spare time I enjoy seeing friends and cycling. I read sometimes as well!

 

What was your favourite project and why?

CALFORD GREEN. My favourite part of a project is raising the frame and seeing how the timber structure comes to life before my eyes. I also really enjoy being part of the Team and meeting the clients.

Favourite Biscuit?

Dark Chocolate Mcvities Digestive Biscuit

Favourite Movie/TV Show?

Breaking Bad

Favourite meal?

Roast Dinner with Nan’s apple crumble

Favourite Band:

Rolling stones

Dream Holiday:

Round the World Ticket

Tom Bates

Estimator
Tom Bates

Estimator

Having studied Countryside Management at University, I then went off travelling around the World – experiencing different cultures and adventures, including gorilla trekking in Uganda and white water rafting down 7m waterfalls in New Zealand! On my return I moved to Bath with my (now) wife & I studied garden design, setting up my own landscaping company. It was here that I discovered a love for all things wood and decided to further my knowledge taking a course in oak timber framing.

From this point there was no turning back – I was hooked! Landscaping soon turned into carpentry and I started creating bespoke timber outbuildings and oak framed structures. A few years down the line and I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work for English Oak Buildings, where I have vastly expanded my framing  knowledge (learning from the best in the industry!). I now ply my trade as an estimator (and wannabe designer!), but still help out on the tools when I can/am allowed!

 

What was your favourite project and why?  

Foxleigh Grove – beautiful curved frame, interesting joints and good combinations of finishes.

Favourite Biscuit?

Border Dark Chocolate Gingers

Favourite Movie?

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Favourite meal?

Taiwanese Bao Buns

Favourite Place?

Abel Tasman, New Zealand

Favourite Books:

Wind in the Willows (the original, not kids version!) by Kenneth Grahame

Favourite Band:

Queen, Of Monsters and Men, Alt J, The Smiths, Right Said Fred, Fleetwood Mac

Dream Holiday:

Dog Sledding across Alaska

Mat Hulford

Production Manager
Matt Hulford

Senior Framer – Production Manager

Mat Hulford, 43, I began as an apprentice 18 years ago. I would describe myself as a family man with a wife and 2 teenage daughters. I have passed on my love for quality wood, if not my carpentry as the list of jobs at home seems to be never ending. I have spent the last few years renovating the family home to m families exacting standards including a bespoke oak conservatory. A passionate rugby player in my younger days I have recently taken up running aiming for a sub 20 minute 5 km. I would describe myself  as competitive and enjoy shooting and axe throwing as part of a local Gentleman’s club raising money for local charities.

 

What was your favourite project and why?  

David Roydes. A challenging frame to make with all the different angles and shapes.

Favourite Biscuit?

Custard Cream

Favourite Movie?

Shawshank Redemption

Favourite meal?

Roast Pork

Favourite Place? 

New Forest

Favourite Band:

Jess Glynn

Dream Holiday:

Scottish Highlands

Tom Golding

Framer
Tom Golding

Timber Framer

After leaving school I embarked on a Carpentry apprenticeship but later decided to go to Reading University to study Building Surveying. After realising I missed having a tangible result for my efforts, I left University and re-trained as a furniture maker. I now find myself back where I started, as a carpenter, now really enjoying the challenges and satisfaction timber framing provides. In my youth I played rugby to a county level but now only follow sports mainly boxing but also occasionally go shooting. In my spare time I enjoy walking the dog, cooking and reading.

 

What was your favourite project and why?

CALFORD GREEN. I was able to work on cutting the roof elements and further my understanding of roof geometry.

Favourite Biscuit?

Slightly stale dark chocolate hob now with full fat milk to dip!

Favourite Movie?

Layer Cake

Favourite meal?

Starter: Seafood Platter. Main: Seafood Platter. Desert: Seafood Platter

Favourite Band:

Elbow

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