From Small Beginnings: the Story of TBS’s Very First YardMarch 17, 2017
Well, well, what have we here? Someone has unearthed some photos of our very first TBS yard! It was behind an old chapel in Islington Road, Towcester, in Northamptonshire, and it opened in 1978.
We caught up with Martin Bannister, now a general builder and TBS customer, who was one of the first two staff there (the other, Martyn Davies, sadly died some years ago). Here are some of Martin’s memories.
“It was like a comedy. Our first forklift must have been pre-war! After lifting a ton or so off a truck, we had to charge the battery again. Not the best way to please delivery drivers!
We also had an old Massey Ferguson tractor with a huge concrete counterbalance weight. Because the premises were small, we had to clear the yard before we could turn the thing! It had no power steering either, and unless you kept hold of the lever, the bucket would keep coming down – which was awkward if you were loading a customer’s van!
“Mind you, we had some fun in the snow: we’d attach a plastic sack to the back and I’d pull people down the lane. It was a cul-de-sac, so it was pretty safe.
“Weights and measures weren’t so strict then. We shovelled it! 150 shovels to the cubic yard. Our first delivery vehicle was an old post office van. We’d shovel in half a ton, then we’d have to close the yard while we delivered it! So we tried to do deliveries around lunchtime.
“The other thing was that we shared the premises with a vehicle-spraying business. We had an agreement that if they were spraying, we didn’t use our upstairs, in case dust fell through. Sometimes the spray paint wasn’t completely contained, and we’d arrive at work wondering what colour our pipes and gutters might be today!
“We were naive and inexperienced, but we meant well, and plenty of our first customers are still using TBS today and hark back to those early days as exciting times. We were like a family, and that flavour is still there at TBS today.”
And here, ladies and gents, is an original TBS plastic rubble bag: hand designed with a nice “hippie” feel – well, it was the 70s!