The leading timber and building supplies shop in South West Sydney, the Southern Highlands and Tablelands


Sawyers for over 200 hundred years

In the early 1800s, Jeremiah Hayter accompanied John Macarthur from England to work on his new property at “Cowpastures” as a carpenter. Jeremiah was also a sawyer prior to leaving for Australia. After spending time with the Macarthur family, he was allocated land at Werombi.

Around 1830, Jeremiah moved from Werombi to the Southern Highlands and established himself on a property outside Moss Vale near Callala Crossing. He died in 1857 and is buried in the Anglican Church cemetery in Moss Vale.

On his departure to Moss Vale, he left the land at Werombi to his daughter, Jess Hayter, who was one of 13 children. Jess subsequently left the land to her son John Hayter. John had two sons, Rex and Richard Denzil and left the land to them on his death. Richard married Lila Meryle and had 4 sons Neil, Kim, Anthony and Colin.

Log piles
The land was used for dairying and orchards, particularly oranges and general farming pursuits. Rex continued the dairy on the larger portion while, in the late 50s, Richard Denzil Hayter commenced work with his Uncle Dick Hayter as an apprentice carpenter. In the mid 60s, after cutting mine props, Richard went into business for himself. With timber in the local area becoming scarce, he employed cutters in the Bulledellah, Oberon, Wollongong, Moss Vale, and Putty areas to supply props to Nattai, Bulli and Wollondilly mines. In late 1967 when he became the major supplier of mine props in the area, he decided to build his own mill.
Timber saw
In 1968, he built the first sawbench at Werombi and slowly developed the Saw Mill. In 1975, Richard was killed in a truck accident on the Werombi Road. His widow Lila Meryle (nee Dunk) and son Kim kept the business going. They decided to expand by selling sawn hardwood building timber. This led to the first major expansion of the Mill as the main bench was rebuilt. In 1980, an automatic plant was put in to the mill to further increase the hardwood production of building timber. A twin Edger saw was installed in 1983.

In 1985, Lila died, leaving the business to her sons Kim, Neil, Anthony and Colin. Shortly after, Anthony joined Kim at the Mill. In 1987, land was acquired in Narellan where Neil started to retail timber products. In 1989, the Narellan Paving Centre was bought and Colin joined Neil. In 2001, Neil’s son Daniel commenced an apprenticeship in Cabinet Making and works in the Narellan yard. In 1994, as hardwood became more and more difficult to obtain, the mining industry started to decline and it was decided to make the switch to milling Softwood.

Radiata was sourced from Oberon and Canberra, and demand for the product soon outstripped the supply. Further improvements were made to the mill with a state-of-the-art Multisaw being installed in 1998. Production increased from around 75 cubic meters a week to 250 cubic meters of sawn product. The multi saw technology uses up to 5 blades allowing up to 5 different sizes to be cut in one pass with laser accuracy.

As the mill grew, Kims’ sons, Glen and Jason, joined the company and learnt all facets of the sawmilling business. In 2002, another major improvement was made in the mill with the installation of another recovery multisaw. This machine replaced the original bench that had been built by Denzil in 1968. These improvements enabled a greater range of products to be produced.

As demand increased for dressed products, a multi-head planer was installed in 1999. Anthony’s son Russell then joined the company as an apprentice studying Forest and Timber Machining. With the introduction of softwood, it became necessary to treat the timber to increase its longevity. An association was made with Koppers to treat and sell the timber.

In 2001, it became clear that, logistically, it was far better if the company could treat and supply. A treatment plant was leased at Braidwood however, once again, logistically it became clear that to satisfy a growing market effectively, a treatment plant at Werombi would save an immense amount of time and travel. This plant would also be able to treat other sawmillers’ products.

Hayters timber yard

During 2002, in conjunction with the Osmose® chemical company, now Koppers Performance Chemical, an investigation into the feasibility of building a plant at Werombi was conducted. In early 2003, plans were lodged with Wollondilly Shire Council to build the plant. The plant was designed to treat product by both Lifewood® CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate) and Micropro . The charge cylinder has a capacity of 28 cubic meters and the ability to process 7 charges per day enables the treatment of around 20,000 cubic meters per annum.

Being one of the most modern treatment plants to be built in Australia, the Hayter family has once again been at the forefront of pioneering.

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