Eagle Wharf and Whitten Timber have a long history on the Grand Surrey Canal. Since 1919 Whittens have been serving Peckham as a family run business, supplying the very best in natural timber and timber based products.
In the early days, the softwood that we purchased, to machine and sell, arrived at Eagle Wharf in the familiar long barges. These had been pulled by Horses up the tow paths of the Grand Surrey Canal from the Surrey Docks at Rotherhithe where the timber had been shipped from around the world. Pictures of the canal and the barges can be seen around our new Store and if you want to know more of the history, have a word with Robert Whitten,the grandson of the founder of the business - He is never far from the sales counter, helping his two sons, John and James to keep up the high standard of service that customers have now come to expect when they visit Eagle Wharf.
The new development has provided the company with the golden opportunity of designing our own store to fit our own unique requirements. Over the years there have been many improvements to the way that we store and sell that we would like to have made, but have been restricted by the layout of the buildings at our old site on Eagle Wharf. During the design stage and while the new store was being built, every chance, no matter how small, was taken to include features that help to provide a better service. Whittens are well aware that customer's want this level of service and that it is sadly lacking in the impersonal, publicly owned retail sheds.
We all see the gradual disapearance around us of the family businesses in the trade, swallowed up by the public companies, seemingly obsessed with reducing prices by reducing the level of quality and service. We are proud to offer an alternative and we are happy that the new development will allow us offer quality and service for generations in the future.
2002 Whitten Timber moved to purpose-built warehouse in Eagle Wharf, Peckham Hill Street from old neighbouring warehouse.
1980 Whitten Timber moved to retail warehouse in Eagle Wharf, Peckham Hill Street from previous Canal Head warehouse (site of Peckham Pulse).
1972 Grand Surrey Canal closed and filled in. Park and cycleway later added under old canal bridges which still exist.
1970s Whitten Timber shop on Peckham Hill Street and Canal Head traded on site of Peckham Square. Robert Whitten now operated the family business.
1960s Whitten Timber traded from Canal Head warehouse solely.
1940s WH Whitten Jnr managed business.
1935 Registered as limited company and traded from Canal Head warehouse and Footbridge Wharf on the Grand Surrey Canal.
1919 Whitten family traded in Timber in Sumner Road from barrows and later shops.
C20 Growth of timber trade on Grand Surrey Canal.
1826 Peckham branch of Grand Surrey Canal opened.
1801 - 1811 Grand Surrey Canal built as far as Camberwell originally to move market produce to the City from the suburbs. It was intended to continue it to Epsom but lacked funds.