BlackOak was initially created from a shared passion of giving old property a new lease of life and preparing it for the future centuries to come. We prefer to keep things personal with small dedicated teams. Many who work with us are sole traders. Dedicated to producing excellent results, they share our enthusiasm and passion for creating something magical
George Bannister – the assertive one!
George discovered his passion for wood soon after leaving school when he started working for a local tree surgery company – it was not long before he started his own successful company at the age of just 20 years old
In 2007 he realised the exciting potential in property development and entered this career change by retraining as a carpenter and working alongside his cousin William, a property developer. In 2011 William & George decided to create www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk . They experienced extremely rapid growth of over 100% year on year. With rapid growth comes increased responsibility & opportunity. George embraced the learning process of company & personal development, having undertaken many key roles, George ended up as director of sales and marketing for the whole Blackdown Shepherd Hut brand
Alongside running BSH George drew on his carpentry and building experience and started to renovate his home in his spare time, this further unlocked the passion for property restoration & development. In turn his passion led to him handing over full control of BSH to William, to be able to fully embrace BlackOak
Between house projects George can generally be found tied to a surfboard under a big wave in Indonesia or off travelling the world whilst taking random selfies with a variety of animals!
Kathryn Baker (aka Bakesy) – The creative one!
Starting her career after leaving Falmouth College with a HND in illustration Kathryn has worked in a number of roles varying from illustrating under a London agent to working solely for herself, predominantly specialising in realistic portraits in a variety of mediums
George & Kathryn first met in 2011 when George & William did an extension at her family home. George soon recognised that not only was she a fantastic artist but had an uncanny ability to make brand new work blend seamlessly into period property through the use of reclaimed materials and clever dressing
The pair have been working together since 2012, with her input increasing on every project. She now plays a pivotal role including everything from property selection to soft furnishings
Her main passion is horses – riding horses, working with horses and generally anything that involves horses. A huge animal lover she took some time out from the 9-5 to raise her young family (and horses . . . . and dogs the size of small horses)