Handover at heating firm

Business success: Chris and Beryl Bumford.
Business success: Chris and Beryl Bumford.

A COUPLE who head one of the region’s best-known heating companies are to stand down after 43 years at the helm.

Chris and Beryl Bumford started Bumford Heating back in 1968 with a £250 bank loan, and since then, have installed around 60,000 systems in homes.

The couple, both 68, are scaling down their responsibilities to make way for new managing director Neil, 38, their eldest son, and finance director, daughter Anna Kirby, 35. Their other children Beth Phillips, 36, and Robin, 32, are also in the business.

From 1983 the company has been based in Hoyland, and most of its work was linked with miners’ homes, and British Coal-funded projects.

But in 1984, the Miners’ Strike hit hard and almost sent the company under. Gas central heating for new homes was the lifeline that enabled the company to grow, and now its engineers install the most advanced and energy efficient gas, oil and solid fuel appliances and are also specialists in renewable energy.

The online side of the business has grown to a multi-million pound turnover, selling to places as far afield as New Zealand, Dubai and the USA. A team of 10 staff are dedicated to BHL.co.uk, which sells 100,000 different products.

Chris said: “When I first started out, I don’t think I had any idea what a hard slog running a business was going to be. There have been some really tough times but we’ve succeeded”.

Business support organisation Enterprising Barnsley helped with the growth of Bumford Heating, including with sales and HR support.