With the truck, I was able to take on bigger jobs, too. I got a ‘phone call one day from the foreman of the building company that was heading the regeneration build on the site of most of the land once occupied by South Crofty tin mine. I went along to have a look at what they had there. Besides the tons of old mine workings, knackered heras fencing and other general waste metal, there was a great big pile of armco barriers. We estimated the weight and struck a deal. I bought the lot. The best bit was that I had nothing to do other than to secure the load. It was all loaded by a telehandler. I had to do a couple of runs with the armco, even then, I was overweight. I got a really good price for them, too. The lads in the yard stacked them in a corner. It wasn’t long before they were sold on. I took two stacks of tippy-bins from there, too. Ideal bins for Malcolm Drew to separate his scrap into. Another good payday. I did a few jobs from the Crofty site.
Rich the Roofer, so named to distinguish between him and Hairy Rich, plus of course, he’s a roofer by trade, had a nice little earner at Poldark mine. (Not the original name; renamed after the original ‘70s TV series was filmed there.) The mine is a tourist attraction these days. There’s quite a bit of waste ground and old buildings dotted about. And a lot of scrap metal lying around. There was also an awful lot of copper, cable and brass.
I had a lot of cable in general, mostly thanks to a sparky who had been in touch. He would turn me on to various other jobs, too. Mainly though, it was cabling, miles and miles of it. He had scales, so we would weigh it, I’d give him a price for it, leaving me plenty of profit. Some of the cable I would sort through. The larger, heavy duty stuff, I stripped before weighing in.
I came across all manner of things. I had loads of fire extinguishers from a Dutch ship, old tin baths, cast iron baths and all sorts of interesting antique metal. The most unusual was possibly antique hospital beds! I was also given a small inshore fishing boat. I swapped the little ladder that was on the back of the crewbus for a farm jack. Best swap I ever made, that. I found loads of old and antique tools, keeping whatever was still usable. I love old tools. I have some fantastic tools, including a manual multi-cogged pillar drill. It really is a thing of beauty.
A lad called Luke moved into the cottage at Crasken Farm with his growing family during this time. A cheeky Brummie. I got on well with the whole family. In fact, time was eventually to prove that. He had a little business going making rustic storage boxes, indoor and garden furniture, planters, bird tables and all manner of things, including signboards, all from old pallets. He had been making do collecting them a few at a time using his car. I could see that there was potential for an ideal business partnership. I could go around collecting pallets for him with the truck on which I could load dozens at a time. We agreed on a price per type of pallet. Soon, I was collecting pallets from building sites using the car trailer as well as the truck.
Luke also found a use for the washing machine door glass. They make great portholes. He incorporated them into the cabin beds he made for children.
The drawer under my bed was made by Luke.