Long employment has been a regular feature at Cheltenham based Grimshaw Group with many having achieved 25, 30 and 40 years continuous service, but Peter Grimshaw has become the second person to reach 50 years service with the company.
Previously the late Albert Snow MBE achieved 55 years working as a plant fitter and welder, before taking ‘early retirement’ at the age of 85. Albert was awarded an MBE in 1999 for services to the construction industry with the company.
Peter joined the family business in March 1969, after working in local government, and with a national contractor on major bridge projects. The company has always encouraged family members to gain experience elsewhere in the industry before joining the business.
When Peter became an engineer it was a time of slide rules, log tables, ready reckoners, tracing paper, and heavy wooden surveying equipment. Meanwhile site to office communication was largely dependent on telephone boxes or site visits, in 1972 Peter’s mileage was 61,000! The advance of technology to provide mobile phones, calculators, PC’s, photocopiers and lightweight survey stations has made a huge difference.
Throughout the 1940’s – 60’s the company constructed new playing fields and tennis courts throughout England and Wales and is the oldest established Tennis Court Contractor in the UK. In 1959 the company was the originator of what was later called “Redgra”, pioneering its use in the construction of the UK’s earliest artificial hockey pitches and running tracks by adapting its crushed rock tennis court base system. Grimshaw Group still supplies and delivers Redgra to customers across the UK.
In the 1970’s the business diversified to include complex civil engineering projects alongside sports construction. Whilst expanding the depth of services offered the radius of activities was focussed to approximately 50 miles of Cheltenham. More recent developments has seen the Sports Division creating an online sports equipment shop, ‘Grimshaw Sports’ which supplies customers not only in the UK/EU but to destinations as diverse as Afghanistan, Senegal and British Columbia!
In 1986 Peter represented the company as one of the six original members of the TCCF (Tennis Court Constructors Federation formed under the auspices of the LTA) which subsequently became SAPCA (Sports & Play Construction Association). Peter is still very active within the company, compiling tenders and quotations and detailing design and build projects. Meanwhile the business is run by Peter’s son Russell (third generation) who joined the business after gaining a degree in Civil Engineering and working for an international Civil Engineering Contractor.
Many things have changed over the decades but Grimshaw still takes pride in being a family business with a long serving workforce and many long standing repeat customers. Whilst young blood is essential you cannot underestimate the value of experience when it comes to providing quality and competitive civil engineering solutions.
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