Towards the end of 1990, we secured a contract, for the earthworks for the widening of all of the merges and diverges at the juncture of the M40/42 motorways. The contract with Monk Construction, was short and very intense, our works were to be completed within one month, finishing at Christmas that year. We were to work 7 days a week 24 hours a day from start to finish, so therefore one payment to us would be made on completion as agreed with Project Manager Tim Sharples. Despite some very bad weather things were going as planned, we received and laid the last load of stone early on Friday 21st December 1990, the blacktop then was laid; we then removed all our plant from site highly satisfied that a difficult job had been finished on programme, looking forward to the Christmas break followed by a very good payment in the New Year.
During the month of November, we had agreed with the BBC for sections of a series named Kinsey to be filmed in our Depot over the Christmas shut down. On the night of the 21st we had a moderate snow fall that caused delays to the filming which was to have started on Saturday 22nd December. Kinsey, played by Leigh Lawson, Twiggy`s husband, was a Birmingham Solicitor, one of his clients was a local contractor, of ill repute, named Schofield. In preparation for filming, as agreed, BBC engineers put the name Schofield over the Coleman name on our work shop also on some of the plant and vehicles that were to be parked over the coming Christmas shut down. The snowfall did not thaw to allow filming, so that day’s production was aborted. As we were to be closed for two weeks we saw no reason not to agree to the BBCs request to defer filming, leaving things as they were until immediately after Christmas Bank Holiday, the 27th or 28th. On the set date filming started but could not be completed, not to be awkward we again agreed to leave things `as they were`, as we were not returning for work until 7th January 1991. The BBC completed all the external filming by the 7th but the name Schofield was still on our workshop, also on some of our plant and vehicles. This oversight caused Colemans problems because, unbeknown to us, Monk Construction had gone into administration, owing us a significant amount of money for the works that we had carried out on the M40/42. Word soon spread that “Monk`s have gone broke and taken Colemans with them, who is Schofield?” The following days saw many vehicles enter our Depot, the occupants looking around then drive back out, many people asked many questions about our financial stability, until we could eventually get the BBC to remove the Schofield name! During the ensuing days Monk`s were acquired by Trafalgar House, who after a short meeting agreed to pay our account in full, we then continued to work for Trafalgar House on many projects thereafter.
The 1990`s also saw the start of the Black Country Redevelopment, a new road, The Black Country Route was to create a new spine road to open up the Development Areas in and around Wolverhampton. We won the contract for the removal of contaminated spoil from site. We also supplied Plant and Equipment to the Main Contractor Miller Civil Engineering Ltd., at times to meet demand our fleet needed to be supplemented by tippers from our old friends at Foundry Services. The works lasted for about 2 years, employing upto twenty tippers a day, we were always honest, open and accommodating in carrying out our works, confrontation was not a way of life for us. Our works were as usual those of Site Clearance, Demolition, Land Reclamation, Bulk Excavations, Mobile Crushing, Waste Disposal, Plant Hire and Heavy Haulage. All activities that we were well acquainted with, that our employees fully understood, with the variety of works offering employment security. We were considered to be fair and good employers, a fact proven in the past also over the next decade, with six long service employees receiving Gold Watches for 25 and 30 years service. Training and proof of skills was becoming a necessity of any form of employment. Safety Awareness Courses were commonplace.
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