The story of the Alton Amateur
he story of the Alton Amateur, arguably the most well regarded greenhouse of the last fifty years.
There was a time, in the '60s, when almost all greenhouses were made from wood, and almost all from Cedar wood, and the most famous of these was always the Alton Amateur.
Its iconic design with the sloping sides and the concrete base kerbs plus the sliding 'vent access' side vents meant that an Alton greenhouse was instantly recognisable in any garden, and many remember them in their parents' or grand parents' gardens.
At this time the factory employed hundreds of people, and in the busy season, could deliver hundreds of greenhouse a week, all in articulated lorries.
In the 1970s the cheap mass-produced aluminium greenhouse was invented and over the next 30 years, the cedar greenhouse changed from a practical essential item to a more aspirational item, more at the top end of the greenhouse market.
In 2011, whilst owned by a garage manufacturer, the Alton brand was threatened with closure as the garage company shut down. It was at this stage that the Brand was rescued by The Greenhouse People, and the factory was moved to the Staffordshire moorlands. Ironically, several current staff actually come from Alton (staffs) although the name is originally derived from elsewhere
Since the move, the Alton brand has thrived as new Evolution models which combine the beauty of wood with the low maintenance of aluminium have been developed. So, although the Amateur model is retiring this year, the Alton greenhouse brand is still going strong and will continue to do so as it eyes up its centenary year in 2021