About Us

Founded in 1897 the Society has changed with the times over the intervening years but still endeavours to provide assistance to those past and present members of the timber trade in need.

We have four Trustees and nine regional volunteer committees. Representatives from these committees together with the President , Vice President, Past-Presidents of the Society and the Trustees and Chief Executive Officer make up our Board of Management.

Representatives of the regional committees visit existing and new beneficiaries on a regular basis to make sure that we are providing the most appropriate help. New volunteers are always welcome.

The regional committees also organise a number of fundraising events ranging from golf to river cruises and clay pigeon shooting as well as seasonal lunches and dinners.

Trophy Winners at the National Golf held at the Marriott Forest of Arden, Maxstoke, Warwickshire in July 2019




I was born in 1949 in Solihull, Warwickshire.
I have an older sister Anne and my parents owned a paint and dry saltery business in Aston, Birmingham. Not surprisingly I built up an allegiance to Aston Villa !
A happy childhood living in Hampton in Arden and attending local schools, finishing up at Solihull School for five years. A good all round education and introduction to sport especially cricket and hockey, playing for three years in the school 1st Xl at both sports.
Weekends also involved sport — both playing for local village sides and enjoying the social element !. During my last year at school I sat the Oxbridge exams and gained a place at Jesus College, Cambridge to read natural Sciences. However, before going up to Cambridge I decided my career path should be in accountancy and changed my course to Economics albeit having never studied this before.

Three years at Cambridge was a wonderful experience academically, socially, sporting and for generally widening my experiences and views. I feel in retrospect that sport pre-occupied my time rather more than studying as I was lucky enough to play top class sport in both cricket and hockey for the University sides, but I did manage to come away with a good degree ! Alumni relations at Jesus College are very good and I still enjoy going back to College for reunions.
Leaving University at 21 I joined Coopers & Lybrand - now merged with Price Waterhouse and known as PWC- as an articled clerk in Birmingham. This involved plenty of studying to become a qualified ACA but I still found time for plenty of sport, playing many games for Warwickshire 2 nd Xl and for socialising, where I met Anabel and we married in 1972.

This was the start of my association with the Timber Industry because Anabel's father was Denis Butler who was Chairman of the Wyckham Blackwell Group of Companies, being involved in timber engineering, fencing, wholesale and DIY retail. Denis as his father before him had been involved with TTBS in the Midlands and went on to become National President in 1982 and a Trustee for 14 years.
Still working for Coopers & Lybrand as a Senior Manager, I gradually became involved with Denis helping him on financial matters, planning and reviewing new ventures and was appointed a Non Exec Director in 1975. Anabel and I also started a family in 1975 with the arrival of our daughter Charlotte, followed by a son, Alexander in 1978.

We moved home in 1975 to our current home and family life became the main focus of our lives with sport now taking a back seat. In 1979 1 decided that working in a large international company with high pressure work requiring total commitment was not my ambition for the next 30 years or so. I resigned my position with Coopers & Lybrand and set up a small practise of my own with one day per week allocated to Wyckham Blackwell and the Timber Industry. This worked extremely well from all aspects. I quickly became involved with 5 other family companies acting in the role of Financial Director across various industries

At Wyckham Blackwell I quickly became involved with the TTBS and helped to start a Midlands tennis competition in conjunction with my father in law, Denis, John Goodman and Ross Bellamy. I also played in many of the Midlands golf competitions run by John Vincent and in the National Golf on two occasions. In 1982 Denis came up with the idea of a Midlands Clay Pigeon competition and this was started with the help of Richard Bouverat and myself and has gone from strength to strength. Christella Golby is now the main organiser and before Covid we ran two shoots each year and raised in the region of €4,000 to €5,000 per year.

As time progressed I spent more time with Wyckham Blackwell becoming involved in more aspects of the Group and following the resignation of our MD, I became Chief Executive in 2007. Not an ideal time to take this role with the looming financial crisis of 2008 / 09 but a real challenge with much restructuring required. The Group consisted of the Timber Engineering division as the main product line with a wholesale division specialising in Pine and a decking division.

Restructuring resulted in closing the wholesale and decking divisions while expanding trussed rafters and metal web floor beams. To find new markets we worked hard to develop our Smartroof project with our partner, Wolf Systems. Smartroof enables the roof area of certain sizes of houses to be open plan usable space as well as being factory produced and watertight within the day of assembly on site.

As Chairman of Smartroof I was pleased to see this product widely in use in the housing industry and to gain a national market, a 50% interest was sold to the Keystone Group in 2012. During this time Wyckham Blackwell also re-entered the timber frame house market.

My family life had progressed over the years with Charlotte and Alexander attending University gaining degrees in Economics and Medicine respectively. Charlotte is now married with two boys and runs a legal recruitment company in London and her husband Matt is a photographer. Alexander is married with three girls and he is a consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and his wife, Katherine a G.P. Five lovely grandchildren ranging from 11 to 3 years old and providing Anabel and myself with lots of fun and entertainment.

Although Denis had not been involved for a number of years it was after his death in 2014 that a number of enquiries were made by prospective purchasers to acquire the Wyckham Blackwell Group. With no obvious family succession a sale was negotiated with completion in June, 2015. Apart from 6 months consultancy helping the purchasers this concluded my involvement in the timber industry.

However, in 2011 I had joined the Midlands TTBS Committee as Treasurer and Christella Golby my co-director at Wyckham Blackwell also joined the committee. Apart from running the two clay pigeon shoots we have assisted with numerous other events.
In 2013 I was invited to become one of the two TTBS Investment Managers looking after the Investment Funds of the charity together with Pippa Latham. We work closely with our investment brokers, Smith & Williamson. I have greatly enjoyed this role and have become more involved nationally, attending management meetings and getting to know more people involved around the country.

It was a great honour to be asked to be National President in 2021 and I very much look forward to attending more functions and meeting people from the timber industry.




Milestone celebrated by Timber Trades Benevolent Society CEO

Timber Trades Benevolent Society Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Savage reached a milestone of 60 years unbroken service in the Timber industry in October 2020.

Born in November 1943 in Hove, Sussex, the youngest son of Ronald & Yvonne Savage, Ivan was educated initially in Hove and subsequently Bognor Regis, where he moved due to his father’s transfer within the Rank Organisation. After 11 plus, he completed his education at Chichester High School, a highly respected grammar school in the heart of Chichester.

He started work in the Timber industry in October 1960 as a management trainee with A. Olby & Sons Ltd at their main softwood depot in Bognor Regis (now part of the Cover Group) and in 1976 he moved to Staffordshire to join Cox Long Ltd (now part of the Walker Group) until 1983.
Following a short period as Senior Training officer at the Timber Research & Development Association in High Wycombe, he returned to the Midlands to join ex Cox Long colleagues at S. Jackson (Walsall) Ltd and was appointed as their Sales Director.

In August 1993, S. Jackson was purchased by the Carver Group in Wolverhampton and in 1994, Ivan was appointed as the Carver Group Sales Director, the first non- family director in nearly 100 years, a position he held until his semi-retirement in November 2008, when he continued as a Director of ETS Ltd until 2011, when, with his appointment by the Trustees he took up the position of General Manager for the “Timber Trades own charity”.

In May 2021, he was appointed by the Trustees as the Society’s Chief Executive Officer in recognition of his exceptional work for the Society, both in administration and also for his involvement with the Timber industry promoting the TTBS work assisting the less fortunate.

During his years at Carvers, the Wolverhampton group increased sales to over £33m and expanded into timber engineering with design and supply of engineered timber joist sets, trussed rafter manufacture with their subsidiary Engineered Timber Solutions Ltd, Rodington and timber framed production with Timber Kit Solutions Ltd, Shrewsbury.

Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Ivan was a prolific distance runner and triathlete and competed in 29 marathons, including Amsterdam and five London marathons and over 130 open water triathlons as well as many other long distance road races and fell running events.
He was secretary of Stone Master Marathoners veterans athletic club and also secretary of the North Staffordshire Triathlon club for many years and a member of the British Triathlon Association. He was also a keen walker, completing the 192 mile Wainwrights Coast to Coast in 1993, together with many other UK long distance pathways.

Together with the late Roy Carver, in 1998 Ivan revived the Wolverhampton City Marathon, supported by the Carver Group which has continued for over 20 years and has raised over £400,000 for local Wolverhampton charities – sadly the 2020 Covid pandemic put an end to this event.
Outside of his full time TTBS work and industry responsibilities, Ivan is a member of Stone Golf Club in Staffordshire and continues to enjoy competitive golf with his playing partners.

Sixty years of unbroken service within the Timber industry has been an exceptional achievement and Ivan has indicated that he will continue with the TTBS for some while yet before considering retirement, subject to continued good health.





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