“You Never Make Money Lying in Bed”

My Father also collected clinker ash from Nechells Power Station, to avoid queues and to be sure of getting a load before the daily supply ran out, he used be at the hopper at 3am for his load, if he was any later then the possibility of getting a load were slim. The clinker was in demand for the construction of new footpaths and the like, he would have his first load delivered before 07:00, had breakfast, ready for the day’s work! “You never make any money lying in bed”, was a favourite saying!

With the formation of the new State owned Road Haulage organisation, B.R.S. Ltd, all other hauliers or owners of Lorries had to apply for and get a Licence to carry goods,  A, B, or C Licence was required. The Licences could be bought and sold, openly traded. The Applicant for new or additional Licences was required to demonstrate and prove that there was a need for the additional transport, also that they were of good financial standing; this was an extremely difficult hurdle to overcome. The applicant would usually be in competition with the State. Also any other company could object, to the application, or indeed the purchase of the licence, if they believed that extra licences would restrict its operations, in as much as the objecting company could offer the transport capabilities that the applicant sort to obtain. This led to many Transport Tribunal Hearings, Coleman`s application were always for a small number of licences and were usually successful, again leading to steady growth, as was the Coleman way. My Father also gave support to some of his fellow countrymen whose ambition was to improve themselves, just as he had done.

Some of our earlier fleet parked behind our home in Albert Road, Stechford, Birmingham.

My parents bought the derelict house next door at 133 Albert Road, refurbished same then moved in, 131 was sold but half the garden was kept on which they later built maisonettes that were then sold.

During this period an opportunity presented itself to work with Birmingham City Council, Demolition Office, for whom we still work, now known as Birmingham City Council Building Consultancy. A contract to clear the old Rubery Brickworks was secured, as the kilns were demolished the fire brick linings were saved, a good market being secured whereby the bricks were sold by the ton delivered, the bricks were very dusty and not very heavy, because of `the Environmental Concerns` due to dust emissions in transport water was liberally applied, the bricks being absorbent the weight of the load increased dramatically, (so did the value of each load, fewer bricks for the same money) with a contented grin on his face, it appeared this was a fact that my father had overlooked and never really appreciated!!!

The Archbishops House next to St. Chad`s Cathedral, the substantial building was to be demolished, to make way for the new A38 Queensway diversion,  all the good roof coverings, wood, bricks etc. were cleaned and sold, broken bricks sold as hardcore, no Specification was required, rotten or damaged wood burnt on site.

The Old Bull Ring was being rebuilt by John Laing Construction; Colemans carried out the demolition of the substantial Victorian building, the heavy sandstone blocks from the demolition bending Low Loader Trailers. There was also a big City wide programme to clear the old back to back houses and slums. As the demolition progressed so followed the excavation works for the new construction, another opportunity had presented itself. As was the case with the new Bull Ring, where a public open space was to be created, within the Smallbrook Queensway, the area was to be named The Manzoni Gardens, after Sir Herbert Manzoni, the Birmingham City Engineer, who oversaw much of the City post war redevelopment. This was to be an area for office workers, shoppers and visitors to relax in a multi level landscaped park, difficult to create, due to the varying levels, but looked marvellous once completed.

A yard, an old Council Depot, was rented from the Council on Station Road, Stechford, Birmingham; it was basic but good, a base from which the fledgling company would continue to grow.

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