Marking investment in Suffolk with beer and sausages
PUBLISHED: 17:35 02 October 2018
© Paul Nixon
Power tools firm Festool has celebrated a milestone in the construction of its new £9.5 million UK HQ by holding a traditional German ‘Richtfest’.
For centuries in Germany, celebrations have taken place when a building structure reaches its highest point.
This event, the first time a Richtfest has taken part in East Anglia, brought together Festool employees and staff involved in the construction including the contractor, Barnes Construction, the architect Pick Everard and the roofing specialists WIEHAG.
Introductory words were by Mark Bailey from Barnes Construction and Ole Held from Festool before ‘Zimmermen’, Henrich Samhaber and John Spittle, both dressed in traditional German carpentry guild clothes, recited a poem in German and English.
A toast was then taken, and the glass smashed on the building floor to symbolise good luck.
To finish off, nails were hammered and drilled into the final roof purlin before it was craned into place on the roof and fixed; a duty given to Mark Ayms who has worked at Festool UK serving customers for 29 years.
To also fit with tradition, the roof had a small decorated fir tree fixed to it, which in the true nature of neighbourly co-operation had been donated by Rougham Estates Nurseries who are located close to the site on the Suffolk Business Park.
The guests shared a barbeque of German beer and sausages to finish off the event.
When completed in spring 2019, Festool’s 40 UK office-based employees will move from their existing home at Saxham Business Park, to the new two-storey headquarters which will include a warehouse, office space, demonstration and meeting rooms, as well as a service centre, cafe and show zone.
Ole Held, UK MD for Festool was on site joining in the celebrations.
He said: “Festool has expanded extensively over the past five years and this new office will enable the company to not only achieve its future growth plans but will also reflect Festool’s premium brand status.”