Business has grown from an old JCB to £30m turnover
I worked from a council house in Nympsfield to start off with. I got married and worked out of my father-in-laws council farm. My son, Paul, used to run down as a youngster at 5am, to open the gate on site.
The business then just grew as we always said yes to people, we wanted to do the job and when we did it, we always worked to deliver a top service.
From plant hire, haulage, skip hire, construction, demolition to waste management, the company has grown as it needed to and when opportunity arose.
Over time, we started to take on more and more employees and we tried to treat people – staff and clients – as we would like to be treated ourselves.
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We were driven by will-power and a determination to go on and this has been helped by some fantastic people that work with us. About 75 per cent of those people I would class as close family friends.
I've had to take risks to get where we've got but we couldn't have done it without the people we have and the business has got to where it is because of them. It was never intended to get as big as it has.
Family have been supporting the business since day one and its expansion has been a natural progression. Two of the family members, Pam and Jean were with us from the start and Pam remains a vital part of the business as company secretary, dealing with day-to-day organisation.
Staff turnover has remained extremely low.
For instance, Paul Beeston has been here since the age of 16 as a labourer. He is now the manager of our demolition division. (See page 8).
We have invested heavily in waste management over the past few years with four waste transfer stations across the region in Moreton Valence, Tewkesbury, Avonmouth and Cardiff.
Nearly 90 per cent of staff are employed in Gloucestershire, with 50 people working at our Welsh sites.
There's always going to be waste and the waste to energy project is a massive thing for us.
We are also proud to have strong links with the local community, including our continuing relationship with Gloucester Rugby Club, since our project to demolish the old C&G stand in 2001. This year we have created a charity partnership with the National Star College in Ullenwood, near Cheltenham.
Both company and staff intend to raise funds for the college during 2012.
I don't think we have changed that much since the beginning. We are humble people, we just work hard. There has been no cunning plan. My philosophy has always been if you work hard, it will pay off.
For instance, one of the scariest jobs we've done was moving the Gloucester to Sharpness ship canal in 2009. There was a big risk of falling on the site and people working in the area being flooded. It was by Cole Avenue and took 18 months. We built up the canal and were involved in traffic management. It was challenging. But very often people rise to a challenge. That was about certain skill sets, getting everyone together and utilising those skills.
I still love it. I have no problem putting on the hard hat, fluorescent jacket and boots and jumping in.