Peter Godfrey recently marked his 40th year at family-owned Bardsley Construction with Chairman Roly Bardsley describing the veteran employee as the ‘mortar between the bricks’ and a ‘foundation’ of the business.
During his four decades at the Greater Manchester-based firm, pre-construction director Peter has progressed from helping to train Roly, son of the founder Roland Bardsley, on his first day on site to working on major schemes including residential, extra care facilities and hotels with a total value of more than £73m.
Educated at St Peter and Paul school in Dukinfield, Peter started at Bardsley as a Site Engineer on his first project at Godson Street, Oldham then moved to Queens Road in Ashton were he soon came across then 16-year-old Roly when he was dropped off by father Roland for on-the-job training.
He got off on the wrong foot with his ultimate boss however, by asking why Roly had arrived at 10am when he had been on site since 7am.
When Roly reported back to his father, Roland sent a terse message to Peter via the Site Manager saying: “Will you tell that Pete Godfrey that I have multiple companies to run and I’ll drop him off at whatever time I want to.” The story is still a favourite years later.
Following a series of promotions at Bardsley, Peter progressed to the role of Pre-Construction director in 2000 and has witnessed many changes in his time in construction.
“Things have changed greatly over the years in particular in health and safety where the many different policies in place now mean there is much less risk on site than there was when I started,” said Peter.
Having met and worked with many staff over the years, Peter, 62,has particularly enjoyed the mentoring of colleagues – for example, he helped to train and develop Sean Kempley, who started as a Junior Engineer and is now Construction Director, the job Peter himself held for years.
“I’ve met and trained a lot of staff, some of whom are still here so it’s great to have been a part of their development. Some people have been and gone but others have returned, having realised that the grass isn’t always greener.”
“I still enjoy sharing my knowledge with all of my younger colleagues. Bardsley is a good family-owned business to work for and I’ve worked with all the Bardsley family down the years. We are a family company and it’s fantastic that most of the directors have been brought up and established in the business. There have been dozens of employees here who have worked here for over 25 years, it is just that kind of firm.”
“It’s been a very busy 40 years, five days a week and nights at home – bad days and good days but I wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t mainly good days,” he said.
Paying tribute to his veteran colleague, Roly said: “Peter’s dedication and passion for construction is omnipresent, he’s been fundamental to the success of the company. He is the mortar between the bricks, a foundation of the business.”
Peter is not retiring but reducing his working week from five to three days – albeit saying that he’ll end up cramming five days into three.
“Ultimately, I enjoy building and the technical side. It’s great to see a job through from start to finish and building working relationships alongside others. There’s no better feeling than seeing a job completed and winning an award for a job well done to the highest possible standards,” added Peter.To view press releases:-