Gillian Drewitt, managing director of The Drewitt Group gave a history talk about how her family business has impacted on the development of landmark buildings in Bournemouth and the local area.

Gillian, the fifth generation managing director of the firm which was established in 1877, was guest speaker at a February meeting of Bournemouth and Beyond Discovery Group at St. Andrews United Reformed Church. She told the story of how the Drewitt Family first came to Bournemouth and how the business has evolved since founder James Drewitt built his first property in 1919 on Newstead Road in Southbourne.

The firm’s heritage has been richly entwined with that of Bournemouth’s, constructing iconic buildings in the area including Beales, Portman House, the Pier Theatre and the Winter Gardens. Gillian drew upon memories of some of Drewitt’s final building works, which culminated in the construction of the Art & Design College in Wallisdown – now known as Arts University Bournemouth.

Gillian commented: “Putting together old photographs, clippings and records has been a terrific and moving experience. Being involved with the creation of Bournemouth, and seeing its growth to the present day is fantastic and we are proud to be able to continue to work with many wonderful local firms.

She added: “Knowing that some of the iconic buildings which dominate the Bournemouth skyline today were constructed by my ancestors, brings with it a certain pride and a sense of place.”

The Drewitt Group, which was founded in 1877, now combines Drewlec Electrical Services, Drewsons Building Maintenance and Drewsons Plumbing and Heating Services.