THE BUSINESS / COMPANY
" I will start at the beginning: My Grandfather, 'Kit' Peacock, and some of his brothers all lived in Eighton Banks and were general carting contractors
usually employed leading stone from the many quarries around Eighton Banks. They also bought, sold and delivered domestic coal and supplied funeral hearses. "
" The business purchased a few wagons and started moving livestock for local farmers.
At that point WW2 intervened and my father, Robert Christopher 'Bobby' Peacock, who was 18-19 y.o. joined the RAF. Most of the wagons were requisitioned for the war effort. My Grandfather and Dad's sister managed to keep the business going during the war.
When it finally ended, Dad rejoined the business and his first job was sweeping the Birtley Bypass, now the A1M, with a Horse and Cart and brush and shovel. "
" In about 1949 his uncle's coal business came up for sale and he bought the whole concern, the existing coal yard on the top side of the road in the THEN 2 photo below, the wagon, 40 coal bags, two shovels and a set of scales, all for £100!
In the early days he had to go to the 'F' Pit Land Sale for coal, where there was bagging hoppers etc. but as the business grew he got bulk supplies delivered by road direct to Eighton Banks.
By the 1960's there was a fleet of about 27 wagons, five on livestock, three wagons and about a dozen men employed solely on delivering domestic fuel, with the rest being tippers usually serving the local building sites. "
" About this time we started working out of Springwell Quarry and moved thousands of tons of crushed stone onto various construction sites.
The Western Bypass from Coal House Roundabout to the Metro Centre, the Chester le Street junction on the A1M and parts of the Washington Highway are all built on Springwell Stone. We also delivered dressed stone to more prestigous jobs in Edinburgh and Glasgow and even Culzean Castle on the west coast. An occasional job was grindstones down to Barry Docks, near Cardiff, for export to the USA. "
" Back in the day my Grandfather and then Father employed quite a few men from the Springwell, High Usworth and Washington area.
In fact the first man to work for my Father, when he started on his own after the war, lived on Usworth's Hostel Estate, his name was Ronnie Baldwin. He is on the list of 1959 'Squatters' on this Website. We also employed some of the Showmen who camped behind Speculation Place during the winter months. "