The history of Beal Homes
Founded in 1968
The Beal family can trace their roots back for eight generations to when they were farmers and later went into building. All have always been self-employed. Originating from Holderness as farmers, where the family live today, they are once again involved in farming, where John and Mary Beal own and farm about 600 acres in Danthorpe and Hedon.
The first member of the family to move from Holderness was John Scott Beal, who left the farm to set up as a wheelwright in Hull in about 1840. He lived off Humber Street, where coincidentally Beal have recently set up a joint venture company, Wykeland Beal, to develop that area of Hull.
John Scott had a son, another John Beal, born in 1851, who started the family's venture into building. He eventually became one of the biggest plumbing and gas fitting contractors in Hull with many depots throughout the City. His youngest son Luther Beal left his father’s business at the age of 21 and started his own plumbing business in East Hull.
In the middle of the last century, his son, Luther Beal junior carried on the business and expanded into a major building contractor responsible for many major projects throughout the region including several iconic buildings at Hull University.
John Beal, the Co-founder of Beal Homes and the current Chairman of the holding company, was the eldest son of Luther Beal junior and cut his teeth in construction working for his father, as indeed did Raymond Beal, John’s younger brother. John’s younger sister still works for the business as John’s PA.
Beal Developments Limited, which now trades under the Beal Home banner, was formed in May 1968 by brothers John and Raymond Beal then aged 28 and 24 respectively. Both brothers came from a building background having worked for their late father Luther H. Beal.
“ Beal Homes slowly expanded in the early years and by 1980 they had built 363 properties, with an average of 36 homes per year. During that time, the company survived the worst recession in its history but continued to expand with developments in Hedon, where eventually Beal Homes developed over 575 houses almost continuously over 26 years.”
In 1986, Beal Homes embarked on what was then their largest development with a 192 housing scheme, Manor Park Preston in Holderness, concentrating most of their activities throughout the East Riding. This scheme is now recognised as one of the most important opportunities in the history of the company, due to the scale of the development. Shortly after, other developments took place in Hull and Market Weighton, and in the early 90s the Manor Farm at West Ella was built. By 1990, Beal Homes had developed over 30 sites.
In 1987, Richard Beal the current Chairman and MD of Beal Development Ltd, started with the Company directly from school, working first on site and later in administration. Richard then went on to become Managing Director of the Company in 1996, with Raymond Beal retiring and John Beal acquiring his shares that year. Sadly in 2003 Raymond Beal passed away.
One year prior, the company was fortunate enough to become the first and only family owned local developer to buy land at Kingswood, which was to be the beginning of many developments at this well-known and important part of the City of Hull. Beal Homes have continued developed at Kingswood and are deeply grateful to the Landowners for entrusting and allowing Beal to be part of the success of the area. To date Beal Homes have built almost a 1000 houses plus the Kingswood Parks Village shopping centre in Kingswood and will continue to develop there for several years to come.
In 2003, the Company had their biggest break ever, when they were offered the opportunity to buy Eastman Securities, a Lincolnshire based developer. After six months of due diligence by John and Richard Beal, Eastman Securities was bought in June 2004. This fulfilled a long term wish by Beal to develop in Lincolnshire. With the acquisition of Eastman came the part completed Burton Waters Marina mixed use development upon which Beal are still building today. Now in its final stages along with a number of other developments, it forms up to 50% of the turnover of Beal Homes.
“ At the present time, the Company had been involved in over 65 development across East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.”
To complete the family progression, Richard took full ownership of Beal Homes from his father in 2010 when John Beal retired from Beal Developments Ltd. Today, John Beal still remains a Non-Executive Chairman and Director of the Holding Company and is Director of the family investment company Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Developments Limited, as well as being responsible, with Mary Beal, for the family’s farming interests.
By shrewd management the Company survived the latest recession and still maintained profitability throughout that difficult period. Richard Beal took the opportunity at that time to plan for expansion by acquiring land at the Bridgehead Business Park, Hessle for its new headquarters, where Beal now offer a ‘one-of-a-kind’ customer selections experience through their 2000 square foot, purpose built, Customer Selection Studio.
Now building up to 250 homes per year, Beal Homes has moved a long way in the past 46 years from the first time houses were built in Hedon.