Lauren Murphy of Taylor Alden speaks to Darren Lloyd, Director of Govette Windows and long-standing SWA member. Fun fact – Darren was the President of the Steel Window Association for six years!


What is the most exciting or interesting project you’ve worked on?

We have carried out many interesting and exciting projects over the years; each one differing in size and location. However, one that sticks in the mind is actually a recent one where we have installed over 25 arched head full-height windows and doors for a pool house in Wimbledon, powder coated in a green colour.


What is a typical day like at Govette?

Generally full and diverse. We start at 7am and, at that time, we are making sure our installers have loaded up all the materials that are required for the day. The factory will have started working and fabricating windows and doors. At 8am the office will start to check emails with general correspondence, enquiries and project management. We will be working on enquiries and pricing them to the specification required, liaising with clients in terms of design and specification and also carrying out on-site surveys which may include travel anywhere within the south east of England.


Are there any challenges you’ve faced but overcome in the recent years?

The obvious one is COVID. Whilst a lot of businesses and employees were on Furlough, the construction industry continued. However, some projects were put on hold, some continued as normal and some were somewhere in between. To try and get our heads around what was safe for our employees and clients was difficult to start with. We had difficulties logistically and with scheduling. We are still having some of those problems but are winning! The ‘pingdemic’ is the latest challenge to deal with where normally reliable suppliers are now having problems of their own with production which can then impact on our fabrication schedule.


What is your fondest memory of being a part of the SWA?

The SWA is a family of companies. None has an ego and we are all trying to promote the exceptional qualities of the products that we make. I, therefore, have a lot of friends within the association. However, the fondest memory is probably around thirty years ago when I first went to a meeting with my Dad and felt completely out of my depth but proud to be my his side. My Dad still discusses the SWA with me and sometimes he will recollect something that is as relevant today as it was when he was a member.


How long have you worked at Govette?

Since it started in 1996.


What was your first job?

My brother and I did everything from pricing, orders, surveys, installation, invoicing and liaising with customers.


What was the best piece of advice you have been given?

Treat others the same as you would want to be treated.


Where is your dream holiday destination?

Anywhere with my girlfriend Emma and our three dogs (Kobe, Roxy and Lilley).


Tipple of choice?

Havana club rum and coke (love Cuba).


If you had to choose another career, what would it be?

Top Gear presenter.


What is your death row meal – starter, main and dessert?

Calamari, Tomahawk Steak, Banoffee pie.