Ben founded Barrel Top Wagons in 2011, after recognising the need for small, well-made structures, taking inspiration from vintage caravans and showman's Wagons. He wanted to design and make solid structures without compromising on aesthetics or the standard of construction. He is also passionate about using locally sourced, sustainable wood in an attempt to buck the trend for imported, slow-growing timber.
After moving to Devon in the mid 90's, Ben received European funding to train in bench joinery and wood work, gaining an NVQ. Since then he has travelled extensively, learning constantly about all aspects of the trade, including timber framing, log cabin building, and both traditional and modern methods of building and carpentry. Ben has overseen substantial building projects and brings all of those skills to BTW's. His skills continue to develop, and he now provides 3D computer designs of proposed structures which prove to be an essential part of the service.
On the rare occasion of time off, Ben likes to head to Cornwall for walking on the coastal path, or Iceland for the hot baths.
Jo Henderson / Founder & office manager
Originally from Cumbria, Jo moved to Devon in 2001, via Amsterdam, Spain and Brighton. Having worked throughout Europe in the food industry, she set up and ran a successful restaurant in West Devon for five years. Now Jo is one half of BTW's, supporting Ben on the office side of the business. She brings her love of meeting people to the role, always happy to chat through ideas and queries, and also offers assistance with planning applications for BTW structures, which is proving to be a successful and popular aspect of the business.
She loves living between the moor and the coast and can normally be found in Bude on days off, eating ice-cream.
The couple purchased a small piece of woodland near the Devon - Cornwall border, and set up an award-winning, off-grid retreat with two extraordinary eco-cabins. Close to Dartmoor and amazing beaches, Devon Dens is the perfect place to turn off the noise and news and tune into nature.
Rhiannon Davies / Trainee Carpenter
Hailing from Wales, Rhi came to us earlier this year having landed in Devon after university thanks to her chap. She comes with chainsaw tickets, previous carpentry experience and a thirst for knowledge. A day in the workshop with us can require a whole range of skills, and what she doesn't already know she's super keen to learn, which is both refreshing and valuable and she does all of this with a cheery grin. When she's not working, she's helping Ollie set up a market garden or catching the waves along the Devon and Cornwall coast.
Do you have a question or need a quote?
We would love to hear from you, please call us on 07969 948 631. We always encourage people to come and see our work up close here in Devon. On occasion we are out on site, so do call to arrange an appointment.