Family ties run deep at Bateman Groundworks where a quarter of the team breaking ground at Hethersett are from the same family.
In the 12-strong team preparing the site for the first of 1100 new homes are two brothers, Jeff and Dave Thurbon and Jeff’s son, Jack, who has recently started as an apprentice.
Jeff and Dave have clocked up a total of 27 years’ service for the company working on prime residential developments across East Anglia – but have only worked together on the same site once, briefly, 12 years ago.
Now, based on Taylor Wimpey’s Hethersett site, Jeff, interim site manager, and Dave, a digger driver, have been joined by Jack, 16, an apprentice, to prepare the ground for 95 homes in the development’s first phase.
It’s not unusual for relations to work together at Bateman Groundworks – site manager, Huw David’s son, Cameron, is also based on Hethersett site, and several generations of families have been employees during its 20year history.
But it’s the first time three members of a family have been part of a site team.
Jack, who lives at Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, had no intention of following his father into the groundworks business when he left Pakefield High School last year.
But after trying different sixth form college courses he decided he wanted to give it a try and is now one of three apprentices on the Hethersett site.
Jeff, 38, a former salesman in the marine industry, followed Dave, 41, a former panel beater in the car industry, to Bateman Groundworks, where he started as a labourer.
Dave, who also started as a labourer before progressing to diggers, said his son Reece, 15, was thinking about applying for an apprenticeship when he finishes school.