The Youngs of Port Elizabeth – Business
Hayward, Young and Company commenced business in 1903, though it was first registered in 1917.
At the start, the firm distributed sheep dip for the Lincoln firm of Tomlinson, Hayward (hence the Hayward in the name) which was later swallowed up by ICI. John S Young travelled round the Cape Colony in a Cape cart, and telegraphed the orders back to Port Elizabeth, where Bella Gordon Young (nee Lowe – whom he had married also in 1903) made up the parcels.
The firm rapidly expanded into other lines, and in 1926 acquired the timber merchants, Griffiths and Company, whose history went back to 1845. Thereafter, timber and joinery, and other building materials, were the main business of the firm. In the late 1940s the company built a large joinery mill at Deal Party. Its import business was considerably disadvantaged by the introduction of import quotas after 1948, and it became necessary to switch to local suppliers of timber and other goods. Many prominent buildings in Port Elizabeth contain flooring, doors, windows and staircases made by Hayward Young. Adverse economic conditions in the late 1980s led to the closure of the firm’s operating activities.
Today, Hayward Young is concerned with the development and letting of commercial and residential property. It remains a family-owned business; the third generation now form the board of directors.