– A personal message from Groth & Sons’ founder
I was encouraged to read from an early age and have treasured books ever since. I clearly remember the excitement of my Mum taking me to get my first library card, the thrill I felt each week as I would return the two books I had borrowed the previous visit and collect another pair. Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, to name but a few, would spice up my week, and long after my parents had gone to bed I would still be under the bed covers , torch in hand, devouring the pages of another gem. I also richly recall my first visit to one of my favourite rare bookshops, in ‘The Shambles’, York, that first smell of the leather bound volumes had my olfactory senses running wild as I stood in awe. That love for reading has remained with me more than forty years on, I still read every single day. That thirst for reading was so strong, it began to steer my business in a direction that would eventually shape its current form, a business in which I could indulge myself in my true passions.
The journey began growing up in the North of England where I spent my earlier years being dragged around the various Country Houses that Yorkshire had to offer, the likes of Castle Howard, Malton and Treasurers House, York. I was always amazed by the absolute splendour of the building’s architectural detailing, and looking back see those days as the possible catalyst that pushed me in the direction of interior architecture. After studying in carpentry and joinery in Yorkshire, I left for London where I entered the world of Architectural restorations proper. After learning many aspects of late Victorian and Early Queen Anne construction, I went on to work on some of Belgravia’s fine Georgian buildings. This experience had a profound effect on the way I tackled joinery techniques and building restoration, working deliberately and doing things properly, and it was this period that launched me into the Domain of cabinet making and design, I had found my vocation in life, an area where I could combine my skills with the things that I really love: books, design and construction.
A cabinet maker and interior archecture in Sydney
I arrived in Australia initially in 1989, a trip which came about largely due to a bicentenary broadcast I saw the year previous. It was presented by the irrepressible Clive James, and I recall my first real glimpse of the Opera House, I was mesmerized, and thought to myself, “Sydney here I come.”
Twenty five years ago I was probably the only Englishman that didn’t drink beer or follow soccer (sorry, football for the benefit of any English readers) so it was perhaps only a matter of time before I would be exported. Two and a half decades on I have acquired the taste for beer but still haven’t developed the taste for football. Now a proud Australian Citizen, and very much enjoying living and working as a cabinet maker in this cosmopolitan City, I am pleased to say that Sydney is really coming along in regards to putting itself on the design map.
After quite a few years in the building and restoration arena I started up APG designs, this was the forerunner of my business today, a small team of professionals, passionate about interior architecture. When one day my graphic designer, Oliver Goodfellow, came to me with the suggestion of repositioning my branding and renaming my business with a title less generic. Within a month of setting up the new trading name, Groth & Sons, my wife and I went on to have our first child – a Son – Oliver, two years later another child – another son – Oscar, then two years after that a third child, yes you guessed it – a third son, Harry, Groth & Sons it was meant to!
Carving a name as the bespoke home library outfitters, Groth & Sons has worked for a diverse collection of private clients – barristers, judges, writers, bibliophiles, gallery owners and other professionals – all of whom have a common goal, which is the realisation of interiors that are .. thoughtfully considered, highly resolved and exquisitely executed.