Hear from Ian Hinchliffe, our longest standing team member, who has worked with us for 25 years this year...
It started with a telephone call to myself, from a man called Stephen Byram from Marsden.
“Would you call at our new building site and take a look? It needs a new road and sewerage system for a development in Marsden, on the site of an old mill.”
I’d driven through the mill and listened to the myths of its legendary textile industry. I’d noted down a few directions and had myself a meeting to attend.
I had worked on construction sites from leaving school in the ten years prior to this chance meeting.
Upon driving into Clough Lea, I could see two new dwellings being built. A big pile of rubble, remains of derelict mill building, and outbuildings strewn across the landscape.
After a short meeting with Steve – in which we realised we’d seen each other passing through the building trade – we looked at his plans and arranged a date to start.
On meeting and talking to Steve, I still remember my first impression. He was a younger man than I thought he would be.
Work boots and work clothes, dirty grufted hands.
He had a plan and a head full of ideas about how to move his building company move forward.
It was the start of a long working relationship and friendship.
Building houses in the greenbelt was frowned upon. Government planning policies changed from the mid-nineties. Brown field sites were encouraged, meaning that old pieces of land previously used for commercial industrial sites – and left to ruin and dereliction – were in favour for development.
Clough Lea was perfect, transforming a disused parcel of land in the heart of Marsden to create new homes, leading the way for future developments.
Steve couldn’t build his business just by himself. A workforce was needed.
He already had Rachael by his side and various members of his family; architects, civil engineers, and tradespeople, many of whom were from Marsden.
New developments and houses were built as the years went on.
Building regulations and environmental issues became more important, workforces changed, and the market moved, meaning Steve’s role also evolved into solving and dealing with issues of a professional nature.
Today, developments change and new houses are built. Stephen and Rachael’s family are maturing and are in a good position to help the company to grow.
For the last 25 years, I’ve watched a man’s desire to reach the end of every day having created homes, careers, jobs, and foundation stones for his growing family.
Working for SB Homes has matured and helped build foundation stones for my own family.