JS Crawford Builders was founded by James Smith Crawford. He was a stone mason by trade and before the second world war had worked on the renovation of the Scotsman Building in Edinburgh and the Gates at Floors Castle, Kelso in the Scottish Borders.
In wartime he served in the bomb disposal section of the R.E.M.E
On his return from wartime duties he established the firm as a building contractor operating from a bay in the old slaughterhouse in Annay Road, Melrose. One of his earliest contracts was the building of the turnstiles at the main entrance to Melrose Rugby Club where he himself had played with some considerable distinction. This was a very convenient contract considering his earliest mode of transport was a push bike.
Post war materials were rationed, and it was tough for the firm in its infancy, but the firm started to win contracts and build new houses.
JS CRAWFORD TIMELINE
JS CRAWFORD FOUNDED BY JAMES SMITH CRAWFORD
JOHN CRAWFORD TAKES THE REIGNS
In 1964 Jim Crawford died suddenly at the age of 56, and John his elder son known throughout the trade as ‘Choppy’ took over the family business. This was a daunting task for a twenty-six-year-old but with Eileen, Johns’ elder sister running the financial side, they continued to progress and grow the business into one of the largest building companies and employers in the Scottish Borders.
John was a firm but fair boss and treated everyone with respect, a character trait that earned him much respect in return. He was an avid sportsman, excelling in tennis, badminton and rugby playing over one hundred games for the Melrose first fifteen.
JS CRAWFORD GROWS
By 1977 business was booming, and John surrounded himself with a loyal team of employees namely Jim Chisolm, who designed housing layouts and latterly ran contract. Douglas Philp his chief quantity surveyor and Roger Dalgetty the company’s materials buyer. These three men worked for the company and all stayed loyal to John for over twenty-five years each.
MICHAEL, MALCOLM, CAMERON AND CALLUM JOIN THE COMPANY
During the 1990’s John Crawford’s sons Michael, Malcolm, Cameron and Calum joined the business which expanded rapidly.
MICHAEL CRAWFORD TAKES OVER
In 2009 the company demerged with Michael Crawford taking over the business.
JS CRAWFORD MOVE TO PRIORWOOD HOUSE
The company moved to their new premises Priorwood House in 2016 . Priorwood house full of Melrose history was latterly the Melrose Youth Hostel and has now been restored to respectively retain and complement its beautiful features. JS Crawford occupy the first-floor suite of offices, and there are several other offices to rent throughout the building.