As the Blitz intensified across Britain in 1940, fifteen builders met in Islington, not far from the site of the greatest damage in the east end of London. Small construction firms had little representation at the time, and urgently needed financial and legal advice on how to tackle emergency repairs to bomb-damaged property.
That meeting led to the formation of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in 1941, today the largest trade association in the UK construction industry.
2016 marks the FMB's 75th anniversary.
The council appointed when the Federation of Master Builders was established as a National body in 1943 (from left standing): G Fisher, H. A. Maxfield, P. Williams, L. B. Venning, National Secretary, N. Landau, A. C. Styles, E. W. Brownridge, R. N. Jolley. (Seated): H. F. Granby, A. S. Sperring, J. H. Heal, President, C.E. Carter and A. Solomon
- The First General Meeting of the North London Master Builders Association was held. Mr A N Dove was elected as President. On the 17th July, the same year the Federation of Greater London Master Builders was registered.
- In 1941, Leslie Venning was National Secretary.
- An Extraordinary General Meeting was held on 4th May 1943 to widen the scope of activates to cover the whole country by the deletion of the words 'Greater London'. The Federation of Master Builders became a national organisation.
- The FMB head office moved to 26 Great Ormond Street.
The Queen visiting the FMB stand at a building exhibition
First edition of Master Builder magazine
- The FMB completed the establishment of the regions, making it a national organisation.
- The FMB exhibited at the Building Exhibition throughout the 1950s and 1960s, where both the Queen and the Queen Mother visited the FMB stand.
- The first edition of the Master Builders' Journal was published.
- The FMB head office moved to 33 John Street.
- The Master Builders Federation was formed in order to try and join the National Joint Council for the Building Industry to enable the FMB to negotiate on pay and conditions. The FMB had so far been blocked from doing this by the National Federation of Building Trade Employers.
- The FMB introduced the first pension scheme for the building industry; the Construction Industry Pension Scheme.
- In 1974, Bill Hilton took over as National Director.
- The Building and Allied trades Joint Council (BATJIC) was formed in partnership with the Transport and General Workers Union in order to circulate changes in wages and conditions within the building industry on an annual basis.
- The FMB was given two seats on the Construction Industry Training Board.
- The National Register Warranted Builders (NRWB) was established, which included an insurance backed warranty scheme that would protect clients from bad workmanship. It was the first scheme of its kind in the building industry to give an insurance backed guarantee on workmanship, materials and structural defects.
- The FMB head office moved to 14/15 Great James Street.
E.G. Evans (FMB National President, 1992 - 1994) at the first Master Builder of the Year Awards (previously known as the Quality Awards Scheme)
- The European Builders Confederation (EBC) was established with the FMB as one of the founding members.
- Dennis Maiden became Director General in 1991 and Ian Davis then took over in 1997.
- The Building Resource and Information Exchange (BRIX) Internet Project was launched in 1997 to provide an email service and on-line information resource for builders. Two years later, in 1999, the Find a Builder service launched online.
- The Master Builder of the Year Awards were launched, having previously been known as the Quality Awards Scheme.
- FMB Scotland was formed, having previously been part of Northern Counties.
- FMB Northern Ireland was also formed.
- A range of plain English contracts for domestic consumer and commercial work were introduced, including a specific contract for Scotland.
- The FMB launched its first consumer awareness campaign, which included the production of the Essential Guide to Home Improvement.
- In 2007 Richard Diment was appointed Director General.
- The FMB joined the Government endorsed TrustMark scheme as one of its founding members.
- FMB Cymru was formed. Previously South Wales was a region in its own right and North Wales was part of North West region.
Jim Gilmour (FMB National President, 2012 - 2014) and David Croft (FMB National President, 2004 - 2006) outside David Croft House
Brian Berry (FMB Chief Executive) and Richard Burr (FMB member and Great British Bake Off finalist)
- Inspections for all new members were introduced in 2011, followed by inspections for all existing members beginning in 2014.
- Brian Berry was appointed FMB Chief Executive in 2012.
- During 2013 there were Governance reforms which resulted in the creation of the FMB Board of Directors.
- The FMB was awarded Trade Body of the Year at the Public Affairs News Awards in 2013.
- FMB Insurances Services was created to give members even better access to discounted insurance products.
- The FMB head office moved to David Croft House, 25 Ely Place in 2013.
- The FMB was announced as Outstanding Strategic Partner at the CITB's 50th anniversary awards in 2014.
- The FMB celebrates its 75th anniversary at a reception in the House of Lords on 12th July 2016.