R G Carter

Robert George Carter, the founder of the R G Carter Group, had few doubts about what he wanted to be when he grew up – he wanted to be a carpenter, like his grandfather.

After leaving school at fourteen he became a carpenter’s apprentice, practising his new skills with the tools he had inherited from his grandfather. On completing his apprenticeship he began life in London but decided it was not for him and returned home where he gained employment at Youngs, one of Norwich’s best-known building firms.

George joined the army in 1914 and was lucky to survive the war though his health was permanently affected. He was wounded twice, and it was feared he had lost his sight during one gas attack; fortunately this proved not to be the case. His bravery earned him the Military Medal and the Croix de Guerre.

Having refused a commission early in the war, he left the army as Sergeant, and, within three days of being demobbed, found himself a job with the London building firm Scott and Middleton, working on the site of Caley’s chocolate factory at Chapel Field, Norwich.

That same year Scott and Middleton’s work at Caley’s was complete and they asked George to move to Newark to work on a bridge building contract. George, however – being a passionate county family man, wanted to stay in Norfolk. He was an ambitious young man and decided to leave Scott and Middleton and concentrate on building up his own business.

He began by building cottages at the Stanninghall Tuberculosis Colony, followed by private houses including some semi-detached properties at Rail View, Drayton.

In 1922 R G Carter carried out its first job for Bullard’s Brewery, converting buildings at their Anchor Brewery into garages as they moved from horse drawn vehicles to motor lorries.

During the 20’s and 30’s R G Carter’s work included a number of village halls and church buildings, such as Sunday school rooms for the Norwich churches in Belvoir Street and Dereham Road, churches for the Christian Scientists and for the Christian Spiritualists, and refurbishment of St Alban’s church at Lakenham; public buildings at the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, the David Rice Hospital in Drayton and the maternity wing at the Norfolk & Norwich; and, in the late 30’s, school contracts such as Norwich Grammar school and Diss Secondary school.