Two employees with a combined 78 years of service are retiring from a Powys sawmill.

Kevin Davies and Dave Burd are retiring from BSW Group’s Newbridge Sawmill at Newbridge-on-Wye.

Having both begun working for the company in the 1980s, they have played vital roles in the business over the decades and will be sorely missed by colleagues.

Primary Operations Manager Kevin Davies initially joined the company on a six-week fixed contract back in 1981. Those six weeks stretched into several decades with Kevin now having clocked in an impressive 43 years at Newbridge. Apart from a brief sabbatical, Kevin has spent his entire working life at the Newbridge facility. 

Kevin fulfilled many roles at Newbridge and took the position of Primary Operations Manager in June 2017. Throughout his tenure, his leadership has steered the mill’s operations through many challenges, while delivering outstanding results. Kevin will be succeeded by Gareth Downey.

Since joining the company in 1988, Dave Burd has worked at a number of BSW Group’s locations from Newbridge to Senghenydd and Carlise. In 2006, Dave returned to Newbridge as Mill Manager and has been there ever since, also completing a period as Regional Manager overseeing the Southampton Sawmill as well. 

With 36 years of experience at BSW Group – and more than 20 of those as a Mill Manager – Dave’s high level of technical expertise and guidance has been essential in the thriving of the business. Dave’s role will be taken over by John Smilie.

Newbridge Sawmill is located on a 10 hectar site in the heart of Wales, around six miles from Llandrindod Wells. The sawmill can process lengths from 3.0 - 4.8 metre lengths and operates on a double primary operationsshift pattern. Annual input is 210,000 cubic metres of roundwood and it produces 125,000 cubic metres of sawn timber.

Founded in 1848, in Earlston, Scotland, BSW Timber is now the largest sawmilling company in the UK. With 11 manufacturing sites across the UK and Latvia, they are large-scale producers of certified timber products for various industries and applications, including fencing, landscaping, decking, cladding, construction, joinery and pallet production.