By the mid 1970`s demolition works had gone very quiet, a lot of sites had previously been cleared, the Country was coming out of recession, new construction and refurbishment of the old Victorian buildings was all the go. Coleman`s were well suited to take advantage of the new opportunities that presented themselves.
My father felt that it would be the right to offer a Skip Service to keep in contact with the personnel on construction or refurbishment sites once the demolition and excavation works, if there had been any, was completed. It was a good idea, we applied for a Waste Management Licence for Stechford, to enable us to bring Skips in to the depot for sorting and reloading, against all odds and after much difficulty we were successful with our application, we embraced and developed the new `string to our bow`, that initially proved to be a great success.
Hypermarkets and larger Shopping Centres were becoming more common place, sites were being developed in the Midlands and Bristol, our good working relationship with John Laing Construction led to our being awarded the substantial excavation works. Then in May 1976 we started work on our first Hypermarket at Minworth, on 1st June we awoke to find approximately 75mm of snow, this was then followed by a very hot summer with water shortages, hose pipe bans but great muckshifting weather! When the weather broke we endured heavy rain for weeks, good for the sale of hardcore.
My Father ran the Minworth site he enjoyed every minute of it, taking sandwiches and a flask every day, out in the sunshine, no phones. One very funny incident that I witnessed one really hot day that typified my Father, he had parked his car in the site compound, then, carefully placing his flask and sandwiches in the shade of a large tree, which was to be removed but later. At the time we had two D8 & scrapers, stripping top soil, on hire from Watney Plant Ltd a company owned by Percy Carless (Uncle of Mark Carless, now Coleman`s Contracts Director). My Father was seeing to something on site, when one of the D8`s went a little too close to the tree that was giving shelter to the “flask and sandwiches”. The scraper wheel running over the goodies, my Father was not best pleased when he saw what had happened, calling the D8 drivers to the scene, one did admit to an error of judgement in anticipating the line of the scraper wheel. My Father, with a bright red face, to this day I am not sure whether this was caused by sun or rage as he shouted with a strong Irish accent “ you have a site of over 25 Acres on which to work, my ——- flask and sandwiches take up 12 square inches and you ——-well have to run over it!” I had to leave site trying to contain my hysterics, returning soon afterwards with replacement provisions for the boss. After a short while my Father began to see the funny side of the incident, although he never really appreciated it!
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