Shire is a company that was formed as Dagless LTD in 1945. From 1960-1980 the company built some of the finest Motor-Yachts in the world. The Yacht building business carried on successfully until ironically Ted Heath became Prime Minister. He devastated the luxury yacht business by abolishing the marine mortgage and raising VAT to 25% on luxury items. The heart was ripped out of a once very fine business. Survival was the only criteria, the business wound down losing large sums of money on the way. The premises were put up for sale but due to the deep recession of the time could not be sold and the bank was pressing for repayment of loans.
In exchange for the company’s debts the present-day owner took over the business in 1981. The company took on a new direction benefiting from its location adjacent to the port of Wisbech and expertise from the new owner within the timber trade.
In 1983 the company launched a range of Garden buildings at the NEC Glee exhibition under the trading name of Shire. The range was innovative in terms of design and incorporated features it was well received by the market.
Since 1970 the company has been controlled by the Smeeth family. Mr Edmund Smeeth purchased the company from Mr Dagless. Son, Simon Smeeth, took control in the early 80’s and has been the director ever since. Simon’s two sons – Sam and Ted–are managing directors of the company. Many of the team at Shire have been with the company for 25 or more years.
On a personal level the Smeeth family (consisting of Simon, Carolyn, Ted and Sam) are very equestrian and animal orientated, owning a string of horses plus everything from ducks to peacocks!Which brings us to the production and distribution of Shire bedding – top quality shavings for horses and livestock. We are dedicated to the happiness and health of our animal friends and fully understand the need for quality products, value for money and integrity within business.
We are able to guarantee the absolute quality and consistency of the products we are manufacturing. Unlike a lot of companies doing the same thing, we have complete control and management over material that goes in to our bales of bedding.
Our timber is sourced and imported from the northern most hemisphere, the furthest North you can get to where tree’s will still grow. It is very cold and so the trees grow much slower which is indicated by the growth rings at the end of a piece of wood. The closer together these rings are, the stronger the fibre of the wood which means it has greater strength. When these rings are further apart, this indicates that the texture of the wood is looser and subsequently turns to dust quicker rather than holding its form.
We source and purchase only softwood trees, predominantly pine, meaning it absorbs much more moisture making it ideal for use as animal bedding.
Our shipments of wood come in to our warehouse on-site where quality checks happen before anything is used. It then goes through our very own planing mill before finally entering our baler (again – all on-site!). As our baler is brand new and was manufactured to order, as with everything else within Shire, it is of the highest quality. It boasts the most modern technology and developed system in the UK including second-to-none dust extraction and fragrance impregnation.
All of our timber is FSC® certified – this means that it all comes from well managed forests endorsed and supported by the Forest Stewardship Council®. The FSC® promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests. “When you see the FSC® logo, you can buy forest products with confidence that you are helping to ensure our forests are alive for generations to come.
74 Years of Proud British Manufacturing