THE COMPANY

The Company was founded in 1986 by father & sons team Jim, Dougal & Donald Chalmers as JTC Furniture Group. After many years in industry as a craftsman Jim Chalmers decided on his 65th birthday to invest his pension in a new venture and to rely on his sons and some trusted colleagues to help him build a family business of renown in his adopted home town of Dundee. As an ex-Marine Commando, Jim Chalmers understood the need to build an organisation based on mutual respect and trust which above all recognised the need to build strong relationships both with customers and indeed with the employees that gradually took over the running of the business which gives employment today to over 300 people.

HISTORY AND GROWTH

Camperdown Works, the Head Office of JTC Furniture Group was built in 1946, specifically for the Timex Corporation which was then known as ‘UK Time’; a branch of the United States Time Corporation, founded in 1854.

History was made in these premises when UK Time introduced a new wristwatch called the Timex, which made its first appearance in 1950.  After successfully surviving a series of torture tests, UK Time quickly adopted the caption; “takes a licking & keeps on ticking”.

By the 1970’s, Timex in Dundee employed in the region of 5,000 workers, most of which were women.

During the late 1970’s and early 1980’s watch technology began radical development culminating in the perfection and possibility to mass manufacture quartz workings and digital displays. This spelled future disaster for the Timex Company and as a reaction they decided to develop their potential in the assembly of electronic equipment; namely with one of the pioneers of computing equipment Clive Sinclair.

Camperdown Works subsequently was witness to the early computer boom and if history had not dealt a blow to their economic development plans Dundee may have been at the heart of the about to blossom computer industry.  The first production of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Home Computer started in March 1981. However the plant limped from crisis to crisis and with problems worldwide, this was the beginning of the end for Timex in Dundee. In August 1993, following an acrimonious six month industrial dispute the corporation could continue in Dundee no longer, resulting in the infamous closure of the Timex Plant and ultimately the end of a 47 year association with the City of Dundee.

JTC was already a successful furniture company located in Baxter Street, Dundee in premises they were quickly outgrowing. The company moved into Camperdown Works in May 1995 and the manufacture of Fitted Kitchen, Bedrooms and Bathrooms commenced with other more specialised products to follow as they moved into fitted furniture contracts for the Healthcare and Education markets.

A further factory was opened in Dundee, at Manhattan Works, Dundonald Street which was to specialise in large scale contract furniture which often involved genuine craftsmanship in producing large counters for healthcare and education often with wood veneers and specialist composite materials.

A new materials store was built to allow sufficient stock to be held to keep up with the throughput in the factory and the high capacity of the new computer controlled saws and edge banding machinery. Once this reorganisation was complete, total manufacturing space increased to a current 320,000 square feet or around 30,000 sq metres, with a production output of one typical kitchen every two minutes!

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