History of  Parfino Plywood Factory

The more than century-long history of the factory is years of formation and development, successfully overcoming difficulties, achieving high results and victories. We are proud not only of the glorious past of our native enterprise, but also of its present, associated with the working lives of many hundreds of people, our fellow countrymen, whose destinies are inextricably connected with the factory.

1910-1919 1919-1941 1941-1945 1945-1951 1951-1993 1993-2013 2013 – н.в.

Merchant of the 1st guild Dmitry Nikolaevich Lebedev, who has a sawmill and a flax-jute manufactory in St. Petersburg, decides to build a plant for the production of plywood. For these purposes, he buys 15 acres of land from the local community in the town of Zhereslo, Mednikovsky volost, Starorussky district. The village was located on the right bank of the Lovat River near the Parfino railway station, 20 km from Staraya Russa.

N. Lebedev died in 1907, but his son Andrei continued his work. Lebedev decides to build a plywood plant in January 1910. This date marks the founding of the plywood factory.

Andrey Dmitrievich Lebedev saw a great future for plywood production. He consults, looks for partners to sell his promising products, and finds them in Kyiv in the person of the owners of the Trading House Abram Volkenstein and Sons.

The plant received the official name “Lovat Woodworking Plants. Partnership of sawmills and manufactories “D.N. Lebedev". People called it the “factory”.

The enterprise was equipped with advanced American, German and English equipment at that time (32 units in total). The main technological equipment included 4 peeling machines, an automatic drying chamber with a separate steam engine, two presses: a cold press with a steam pump, and later a hydraulic hot press.

In 1910, 100 residents of nearby villages were accepted to learn plywood making. The first manager of the plant was Ivan Ivanovich Tyurin, a native of the village of Nalyuchi.

At the end of 1911, England was already buying Lovat plywood, and then orders began to arrive from France, Denmark, Belgium, and Scandinavian countries. The most popular plywood supplied abroad was birch 5–6 mm thick and alder 5 mm thick. The consumers of Lovat plywood are the Partnerships of the Narva Flax Spinning Manufactory and the Nevsky Shipbuilding and Mechanical Plant, the Society of Nikolaev Factories and Shipyards and the Putilov Factories.

In connection with the increase in jobs at the plant in 1912, two two-story houses were built, cut from round timber, with a total area of 784 square meters and two one-story houses (mansions), with a total area of 49 square meters.

Lovat plywood was used as the main structural material for the first domestic airplanes “Ilya Muromets” and “Svyatogor” by the “Joint Stock Company of Aeronautics” and the “Aviation Department of the Russian-Baltic Carriage Plant”. Before World War I, plywood from Russia was considered the best in the world, and in 1913, more than 60% of production was exported.

After the February Revolution of 1917, an unstable situation developed in the country, and, anticipating economic difficulties, already in March Andrei Dmitrievich Lebedev sold his plant to the joint-stock company of northern and sawmills "Russian Plywood".

In 1917, 450 people already worked at the plant. Since 1918, special attention has been paid to the development of the social sphere. The joint-stock company is carrying out housing construction in a growing village near the plant, building a school for 100 students, water supply, and a small hospital. But further expansion of the plant was suspended, new equipment was never installed - nationalization began in the country. Petrograd jute manufactory "Association of sawmills and manufactories" D.N. Lebedev" was closed in April 1918, and in June it was also nationalized.

By decree of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR of June 28, 1918, all large industrial enterprises of the country were nationalized. From February 1, 1919, plywood production in Parfino became known as the “Second State Plywood and Sawmill of the Northern Region” and was subordinated to Rudrevprom.

From the 1920 data on the State Plywood and Sawmill No. 2 of the Northern Region:

 “The factory site with an area of 15 acres is occupied by industrial buildings and storerooms. The plywood factory is a one-story brick factory, the production building allows for an increase in current production by a factor of 10, that is, there is enough space to accommodate machines. The sawmill is a two story building with a brick foundation and brick posts.
Mechanical engines operate the peeling, drying, gluing and trimming departments, and the laboratory (glue production). Manual work is used when sawing logs, steaming and peeling lumps, and when packing plywood. The average number of workers and employees is 356 people.”

In 1920, the Novgorod provincial land department allocated 50 acres of land for the construction of a factory village. Intensive housing construction began.

Three houses for employees, nine houses and one barracks (142 apartments) for workers were erected. A school was built for the children of workers and employees. The enterprise had a hospital with 12 permanent beds and a fire station.

In 1925, a steam locomotive began running from the plywood factory to the railway station. In 1927, a separate factory club was built on Komsomolskaya Street.

During this difficult time, the core of engineering and technical personnel also grew stronger. The plant's management was seriously and systematically engaged in the reconstruction of production. Engineering support, skillful management, combined with the enthusiasm of workers allowed the enterprise to annually increase production volumes. Product output in 1928 amounted to 20 thousand m³, in 1932 - 23 thousand m³, and in 1937 – already 29 thousand m³. At this time, the plant employed 1,252 people.

The plant supplied more products to the aviation industry and for export than any plywood plant in the industry, and the plywood was produced of the highest quality.

Back in 1927, during the reorganization of the administrative system, volosts and counties were abolished. Starorussky, Polavsky, Zaluchsky, Poddorsky and other districts were separated from the Starorussky district. Then the factory village of plywood plant No. 2 became part of the Starorussky district. And already in 1938, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, it was given the status of “Parfino Workers' settlement”. From that moment on, it began to appear on maps.

In 1941, more than five thousand residents lived in the settlement, there were 15 streets, three schools: secondary, seven-year and evening, 500 individual and 30 communal houses, a house for the oldest workers of the plant, a youth house, a hospital for 25 places, a nursery for 70 places, a kindergarten for 75 places, a post office, a bakery, a bathhouse, a dining room, 4 shops and 6 stalls, a stadium, a club for 300 places with central heating.

In  the evening of June 21, a brass band played on the dance floor...

The attack of Nazi Germany on the USSR on June 22, 1941 broke  the peaceful life of our country.

Parfinsky plywood plant No. 2 was considered strategic - plywood was used to build aircraft and was used in submarines. Therefore, urgent measures were taken to evacuate the enterprise to the rear of the country: partly to the city of Zelenodolsk of the Tatar Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (now the Republic of Tatarstan), partly to the Urals, to the city of Tavda in the Sverdlovsk (now Yekaterinburg) region.

The equipment, which was delivered from Parfin and other evacuated plywood factories, was installed on the sites of the new workshops within a month. This made it possible to fully equip the technological and energy base of the Tavda plant. But the main asset was the people. It must be said that it was the Parfino people, more than 500 workers and their families who arrived in Tavda in August, who formed the backbone of this enterprise, trained the local population, installed and adjusted the equipment.

The production managers and mentors of the team were the first director of the plant, Vladimir Pavlovich Olesko, the first secretary of the district party committee, Nikolai Mikhailovich Kuznetsov, the chief engineer, Lev Pavlovich Myasnikov, and the head of production, Timofey Georgievich Gratsev.

During the four war years, the Tavdinsky Plywood Mill produced 19.3 thousand cubic meters of aircraft plywood, 4332 tons of wood-laminated plastics and 4900 cubic meters of aircraft veneer. This product, according to experts, was enough to produce 30 thousand aircraft.

The honest, selfless work of the plywood workers was highly recognized by the government. High awards were given to peelers N. Trapeznikov, N. Varfolomeev, sorter N. Bykova, mechanic S. Artemyev, head  production T. Gratsev, chief engineer L. Myasnikov and director V. Olesko.

The settlement of Parfino was liberated from the fascists  on February 9, 1942. The settlement  and plywood factory No. 2 presented a gloomy picture - the ashes of burnt-out dwellings, two factory chimneys and piles of bricks from destroyed workshop buildings.

Until 1944, the settlement  was located in the front line and was often subjected to artillery shelling and bombing. Power in the settlement  was exercised by the military command. In 1944, the front rolled back from Parfino to the west. On February 17, 1944, the settlement  council began to operate, which was again headed by its pre-war chairman, Maria Georgievna Kotina.

The kindergarten building was the first to be restored. A bakery began operating there, then a store and a canteen. Already in 1944, classes at the school were resumed.

On May 23, 1944, Resolution No. 5948 of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR was signed together with the State Defense Committee on the restoration of the Parfino  plywood plant No. 2, on the basis of which it was planned to create a house-building plant. The plant was aimed at producing standard panel houses, furniture, fiberboard, and planned to continue producing plywood.

The work of plywood workers in the rear and their participation in the fight against the fascists  invaders at the front are inscribed in history as heroic pages.

The Book of Memory of the Parfino  District contains 1,723 military people, partisans and underground fighters who died and went missing during the Great Patriotic War.  1,190 of them are listed as missing. To this list we must also add the number of civilians who died during the evacuation in the rear and during the occupation. 429 residents of the settlement  went to the front in the first days of the war, 120 of them did not return from the battlefields. Many former workers of plywood factory No. 2 fell in battle for their homeland. The chronicles of the war record a lot of the exploits of the Parfino people, including examples of self-sacrifice.

More than 700 workers of the plywood mill were awarded the medal “For valiant labor during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945.”

The enterprise had to be built almost anew, equipment was expected to be evacuated back. Alexander Grigorjevich Grigorjev, who held this position before the war, was appointed director.

There was no electricity, steam or gas at the plant. And it had to be revived by women and teenagers. The raw material procurement teams also consisted of women, and they also floated timber down the river.

What the Parfino people  did can be called a civil feat. Half-starved, living in dugouts, without days off, people devoted all their strength to the plant - the future of their children and grandchildren, the tomorrow of their native settlement.

By order of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR No. 18790 dated January 31, 1945, “Gidrodrev “ developed a technical project for the construction of the plant. It was approved by order No. 226 of August 1, 1946.

Along with the construction of a plywood factory, it was decided to build housing. On September 17, 1947, the Novgorod Regional Department for Architecture approved the master plan for the development of the settlement of Parfino. On January 1, 1947, more than two thousand people already lived in the settlement.

Construction of a plywood factory began. In 1947, the foundation of the first stage of the thermal power plant was laid. By this time, a brick factory began operating in Parfino, the products of which were used for the construction of the first stage of the thermal power plant, for the restoration of a plywood factory and a new woodworking shop, where it was planned to start producing standard panel houses.

In 1949, a group of workers and engineers returned from the Urals to their home plant. Timofey Georgjevich Gratsev arrived from Tavda, experienced plywood specialists Syromyatnikovs - Pavel Pavlovich and his wife Anna Semenovna, mechanic Valentin Nikolayevich Martynov, steam power specialist Grigoriy Ivanovich Yakovlev arrived at the plant and actively got involved in the work.

For the construction team of the Parfino plywood factory, 1951 was the year of completion of the first stage of construction, that is, the plywood shop. The first stage of the thermal power plant, one of the largest in the region at that time, was also preparing for launch.

December 25, 1951. This day became the day of revival not only of the plywood shop, but also of the plant itself. On press No. 2, in the shift of foreman A.S. Syromiatnikova, the first pressing (several cubic meters) of plywood was glued. Anna Ivanovna Avvakumova performed the pressing. People's happiness knew no bounds. Many had tears of joy in their eyes.

The restoration period of the plant could be considered completed; from January 2, 1952, all equipment and all shifts began working at full capacity - stable production of plywood began.

During the year, 21,165 cubic meters of plywood were glued together, and 3,231 cubic meters of commercial veneer were produced for furniture enterprises. That year, 652 people worked, of which 523 were workers, and the enterprise received a new name, instead of “Plywood Plant No. 2” - “Parfino House-Building Plant”. In 1953, the company began producing plywood for export.

In 1953 the construction and installation of sawmill equipment was completed.

In 1954, a woodworking shop also came into operation. The production of panel houses began, which began to be sent to many cities and towns of the country.

In 1958 a workshop for the production of fiberboards was put into operation.

In the same year, the company produced 35.5 thousand cubic meters of plywood, 198 thousand cubic meters of lumber, 109 thousand square meters of fiberboards, 99 thousand standard houses, 7 thousand cubic meters of containers, etc.

The 1950s gave the settlement a new face. Over the years, a bakery, a bathhouse, a hospital town, school No. 2, a kindergarten, a consumer services plant, a nursery, a House of Culture, and a settlement  council building were built.

In 1962 a furniture workshop came into operation, which began to produce equipment for schools and boarding schools.

Following the results of the seventh five-year plan (1961–1965), 20 plant employees were awarded orders and medals. A peeler with 35 years of experience, Mikhail Ivanovich Yevdokimov, was awarded the medal “For Labor Valor”, the Order of Lenin, the Red Banner of Labor and the Badge of Honor, and in 1984 he became a laureate of the State Prize.

Since 1960, the plant has mastered the production of waterproof BS-1 plywood, and in 1963 they began gluing plywood with synthetic resins.

Due to the fact that plywood began to occupy more than fifty percent of gross production, in 1972 the Parfino house-building factory was again renamed the Parfino Plywood factory.

In April 1975, Alexander Borisovich Davidovich was appointed director of the plant. With him the enterprise and the settlement itself received further development. These were the years of technical re-equipment and development of the social sphere.

Due to the depletion of raw materials in the area, the volume of rafting was reduced, and the enterprise began to experience a serious shortage of wood. A decision was made to build a lower warehouse, which made it possible to organize the transportation of wood on haulage couplers from logging enterprises, free up workers for cutting timber in timber industry enterprises, create a reserve of raw materials at the plant and ensure the rhythmic operation of the enterprise throughout the year.

Since 1975, the Parfino Plywood Factory has constantly emerged as the winner of the competition among plywood enterprises in the USSR and has become an industry leader.

The plant's production base was improved: the boiler room of the thermal power plant was transferred from solid fuel to liquid fuel, and then to gas, and new lines purchased in Finland were installed in the plywood shop. Major repairs were carried out in the fiberboard shop, child care center, and sawmill shop. The territory of the enterprise was completely asphalted. In 1977, a workshop for the production of consumer goods was opened.

In the 80s, the management of the plant did serious work to improve working conditions, housing and cultural conditions of workers. On the territory of the plant there was a health center with an inhalation and fluorography room, a store, a reception center for a consumer services plant, and a greenhouse with an area of 1,500 square meters. m, change houses are equipped in the workshops. Over five years, 4,376 sq. m. were built of housing, a kindergarten, water intake and water treatment facilities.

Alexander Borisovich Davidovich left a bright mark on the history of not only the Parfino plywood factory, which he headed for ten years, but also the settlement of Parfino. The sports complex built on his initiative gave the people of the settlement and the entire region the opportunity to engage in various sports. Competitions were held among the plant's workshops. The director himself regularly went in for sports and trained a group of children.

By the end of the 80s, the production level increased by 152 percent compared to 1962, and plywood production increased by 2.8 times. The plant has completely switched to gluing plywood with resins. The raw materials exchange was reconstructed with the installation of three heavy-duty boiling pools. In the plywood shop, the peeling department was expanded, a second raw material supply conveyor was built, four peeling machines and four veneer dryers were replaced, and a cold pressing line for veneer was introduced. An extension was built and put into operation to house a 20-bay plywood gluing press. In the sawmill shop of the plant, sawmill equipment was replaced, a high-performance chipper MRG-40, and two mechanized material sorting lines were installed.

In March 1993, the privatization process was launched at the Parfino plywood factory. The state enterprise became an open joint-stock company (Parfino Plywood Factory  JSC).

The 90s of the last century were not just difficult, but almost catastrophic for industry. This also affected the activities of the plant. General Director of the plant E.P. Ivanov and Chief Engineer I.M. Golovatsky needed to solve the most important problem - to find buyers for his products abroad and organize the production of export plywood.

The company was assisted by the General Director of Novgorodlesprom JSC I. I. Slutsker. The plant received a large trade loan from a Finnish company. A number of organizational and technical measures were carried out, which made it possible to increase the production of export plywood, and therefore to preserve the enterprise and staff in an environment of general decline in production in the country.

In the most difficult year for Russia, 1998, Parfino  Plywood Factory concluded more than 20 export contracts and shipped its products to 15 countries: the USA, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Germany, Denmark, etc.

In 2000 the team celebrated the 90th anniversary of the factory. At the same time, by decision of the Board of Directors it was decided to build a new production facility for the production of large-format plywood. Later, many experts regarded this decision as high-risk and untimely.

The global financial crisis of 2009 dealt a painful blow to the industries that consumed Parfino plywood and hit the plant.

In April 2009, based on the ruling of the Arbitration Court of Novgorod Region, a bankruptcy procedure - supervision - was introduced in relation to OJSC Parfino Plywood Factory. The property complex of the enterprise was transferred to trust management of the Ilim Timber Industry (ITI) company. The company's task was to revive the huge production. However  it was not possible to remove the plant from the bankruptcy procedure for Ilim Timber Industry.

In July 2011 bankruptcy management was introduced at the Parfino plywood factory. In 2011–2012 the company was put up for auction three times but there was no result.

In September 2013, as a result of an open auction, the property of Parfino Plywood Factory, OJSC was sold to Krasny Yakor, CJSC, an investor already producing plywood in the town of Slobodskaya, Kirov Region. On October 23, plywood production in the settlement of Parfino became a limited liability company - Parfino Plywood Factory, LLC.

Since 2014, the factory began modernizing plywood production. The actual revival of one of the oldest enterprises in Russia has begun. A new management team was created, the workforce was restored, and production volumes of high-quality and competitive products were increased. Already on its 105th anniversary, in 2015, the enterprise was firmly on its feet.

Foreign companies became regular buyers of Parfino products. More than 70% of the plywood produced was exported to the world market, and 30% was consumed by construction and furniture enterprises in Russia.

In December 2019, the Parfino Plywood Factory began implementing a new investment project to modernize a workshop for the export-oriented production of large-format plywood and install a lamination line.

The total investment in the technical re-equipment of the factory amounted to 2.8 billion roubles.

Today Parfino Plywood Factory is an enterprise that demonstrates sustainable development, annually increasing its production volumes. And all this became possible thanks to competent management and highly qualified employees.