Plumbing and drainage specialist Drain Doctor has completed a three month contract – working mostly at night – to replace guttering and drains at the historic Hatch End railway station in Pinner, London.
Now operated by London Overground, the station – which provides services to Euston in one direction and Watford in the other – is being extensively refurbished.
As part of the refurbishment works Drain Doctor was called in to change all of the gutters using materials that were acceptable to the local heritage and enforcement officers. Under a separate contract for Browne’s Engineering, a main contractor to Thames Water, Drain Doctor also excavated and replaced all the main car park drains, many of which had collapsed over the years.
Local Drain Doctor franchisee Yiltan Hurer said: “The main challenge we faced was to carry out this work safely without any risk to other contractors or the public. This meant that a lot of the work had to be carried out overnight so one of our teams was essentially working on this one contract for nearly three months.”
The Drain Doctor contract also included additional works at nearby Bushey and Carpenders Park stations.
The Grade II listed Hatch End station was built in 1911 for the London and North Western Railway to a design by architect Gerald Horsley, son of the painter John Calcott Horsley. It is built in contrasting brick and stone with a Romanesque arched door and a near-pyramidal roof topped by a cupola with a clock and weather vane.
Architectural critic and Poet Laureate Sir John Betjeman is said to have described it as “half-way between a bank and a medium sized country house”.
The future of the Birmingham Central and South franchise business of Drain Doctor is secure. The business will stay in the Baddeley family as Michael (28), son of franchisees David and Denise, comes on board to help with future expansion.
Denise Baddeley said: “Michael has been with us since his uni days when he used to work during the holidays to earn extra money. Now he is with us full time.”
Michael is fulfilling an important role in the business, learning every aspect of running a busy plumbing and drainage franchise. He specialises in undertaking CCTV drain surveys using the Wincan system. However, he also assists the technicians on jobs and works in the office as a customer service represenatitve and is also involved in the accounts and day-to-day running of the business.
Denise continued: “We have found a dual role for Michael and he is really multitasking in order to get a real feel for the whole business.
“David and I run the franchise business as a partnership – David looks after the technicians and the technical side while I look after the office, admin and accounting. The intention is to make Michael a partner, when he will take on responsibility for all that.
“We are slowly reducing our time at work and should take a couple of days off a week but we’re not always able to do that due to pressures of work because we are still very much involved in the business.
“As Michael becomes more experienced our role will diminish until we eventually retire leaving the business in good hands.”
The franchise currently has four technicians. They are now expanding and looking to take on one or two more technicians to cover the south of Birmingham and parts of the Central and West Midlands. Denise said that the area they are in is very competitive but their customers return time and again because of the high levels of service the franchise provides.
Michael is enjoying the challenges of learning the business inside out but he still finds time for sport. He said: “I studied sports science at university and still play hockey at national league level. However busy I get at work I still find time for that.”