The company that now exists as Hawthorn Estates Ltd began in 1976.

The co-founders, Geoff and Kendall Dootson who were married in 1975, this is when their journey began. When they registered for VAT, the company became whatever they turned their hand to doing.

When bitten by the writing bug, Kendall got a job as a freelance journalist (1983) she worked selling her pieces to a number of papers, She had her own column writing as Katie Stott in one.

She interviewed many politicians and dignitaries. Her best interview was with Prince Charles who even wrote to her to expand on his comments for her article.

Then, in 1987 Kendall took an interest in HGV lorry driving. When she passed, she became her own driving agency working on Lorries and excavators for Norweb, Callagen foam, Sita clean and SB tippers.

It was later in 1992 that she began as a school cleaner then went into replacing caretakers and cleaning staff absent for a few weeks at a time.

It was in 1995 that they got the opportunity to clean a car park, helping to expanded to site maintenance giving Hawthorn Estates its big break.

Geoff was a joiner so between them they project managed a number of large jobs including the replacement and repair to the frontage of the Oden cinema in Bradford after a ram raid took out a large chunk of the glass and structure.

From there they took their small business and expanded into a thriving business in just over 3 years the reputation of the company growing as time went on.


In 1998 saw the introduction of a son-in-law who married their daughter in September of 1999. Kevin and Emily became the next generation to manage this company. It was handed over rather abruptly when Geoff became ill in 2006 and later died on 1st June 2008.

Since then Kendall has continued to be on the board of directors but apart from giving advice occasionally plays no part in the day to day running of the company. That privilege now lies primary with Kevin Millar who is one of the other directors of Hawthorn Estates.

When asked how she felt about leaving the running of the company she said ‘I have been a lorry driver, a journalist and the managing director of a successful company, it is nice to watch from the side-lines and not have the stress that comes with running a company such as mine has grown into. Kevin and Emily are among the most level headed and caring people I know. The company is in good hands.’

The legacy continues as the third generation are now being coached to take over the responsibility when they finish their education.