Celebrating 40 years of Bailey Total Building Envelope
We’ve come a long way since Andrew Gilmore started out in the 70s, working from his home office and storing products in his garage! Since then we’ve been involved in bringing thousands of stunning building designs to life – just take a look at our case studies.
Thanks to our expert team, Bailey has grown into a very successful business. It’s our experience in the construction industry, and the support we offer architects and contractors through every stage of their projects, that makes us stand out. Plus, we’re dedicated to delivering products that offer superior performance, quality and design.
Many thanks to all those we’ve worked with this year and over the past 40 years. Please get in touch if you’d like to talk to our technical team about your next project.
Take a look back at Bailey…
Recollections from the early days of Bailey
Andrew Gilmore, founder of the business
“We started out mid October 1975 selling a range of bituminous waterproofing materials. The very first order was obtained on the third day. A small trial order for Horsham District Council South.
Our first premises, which we acquired after about twelve months, were only the width of a garage but 75 feet deep. It was a ramshackle old building with an earth floor so we had to spend a bit on it, having concrete laid and smartening up the flat above for offices. It was right in the centre of the town and after a few years the Council were carrying out a large town centre re-development and we sold it to them and it turned out to be the best investment we ever made!!
The first project was to waterproof the roof of an undertakers premises! This was done in the week before Christmas, which was very convenient as that week was not much good for sales calls. As soon as the job was finished we presented the invoice and amazingly the chap said he might as well pay it right away and proceeded to write out his cheque! This was a tremendous help as at this time most of the money we had when we started had been spent.
The next project was for the Royal East Sussex Hospital in Brighton and involved coating the rendered walls of the nurses home with a sticky transparent waterproofer. This was quite a challenge because it was our first time of hiring and using scaffolding.
The real breakthrough came when we won the job to carry out waterproofing to five roofs of the Unigate Dairies in Eastbourne. The job was over £5k which was a fairly formidable sum in those days for a very small new company. It was pretty scary but mercifully all went fairly well with only one mishap; one of the helpers broke a couple of sheets of asbestos and ended up sitting in the gutter with his feet dangling through the roof. Mercifully there were no injuries.
Eastbourne in those days was the place in the UK with the most hours of sunshine. During the weeks of the contract we only lost one day due to bad weather, this was a tremendous help, also the client paid up very promptly which was again a big help.
In those days when using the black bitumen we used to dress up in boiler suits and wellington boots and used to go home at night plastered in the black stuff!. One wonders now how the poor wives coped with the washing! Later we learnt that it was possible to “work clean” and left off the boiler suits and gum boots.
The time we had finished this contract, the sales were beginning to pick up, mainly from local Councils who always wanted a trial order first before they would place a decent one. The products proved to be good and repeat orders came quite frequently.
The summer of 1976 brought its own problems; I don’t think there has been a hotter year since. High temperatures started in April and all through the summer month’s temperatures were often in the 70’s by 9.00am and reaching 80-90’s at peak. On one job we were trying to remove stones from the roof, we had to pour water on the roof to try and keep it cool and to stop work by about 10.30am due to the heat. During this summer we did lots of quoting but ran out of work as there was no rain, companies delayed their spending. When the weather finally broke in September it poured and poured and brought in enough work to see us through to the following summer.
One of our current projects is the refurbishment of London Bridge Station reminding us that in the early days of selling metal products, we supplied a lot of rainwater goods including large metal trough gutters for the refurbishment of railway stations in the Southern region. British Rail had neglected its properties for years and years but finally took on an extensive programme of complete refurbishment, station by station.”