Supervisor Sam celebrates quarter century with Forterra’s Formpave
The longest serving employee of paving specialists Formpave, part of Forterra has been reminiscing over the quarter century since he began working for the firm, which he joined when it was first established.
Sam Hall, Transport and Despatch Supervisor at Formpave’s Coleford plant in Gloucestershire, was among the first five employees at the site when it opened in 1989, and has seen it quadruple in size over the decades.
“I started with Formpave as a lorry-loader at the age of 25,” remembers Sam, 50, from Gloucestershire, “and since then I’ve done just about every job here, from forklift driver to machine worker to my current job, in which I’m in charge of transport.
“I’ve made blocks for every type of customer, I’ve even done a job for The Queen! We had to get some blocks specially made for a new platform at a railway station she opened the year I started, and we worked through the weekend to make sure it was ready on time.”
Despite his brush with royalty, the father of three says his most memorable moment working for the company was appearing on BBC One in 1996 at Pebble Mill to help demonstrate Formpave’s patented Aquaflow permeable paving on live lunchtime television.
“Aquaflow was the very first permeable paving system to be developed and patented in the UK,” recalls Sam, “so what we were showing on TV was and still is something unique. It all went perfectly, and I was proud that something I’d been working on was being seen by thousands of people.”
Nearly 20 years later, Formpave’s Aquaflow is the most popular permaeable paving solution in the country, and has been installed on over 5,000 UK based schemes and hundreds more across the world, providing a cost effective, sustainable solution to traditional hard landscaping and urban drainage installation.
Established in 1989, Formpave is a world-leading authority in permeable paving. Its systems clean and drain surface water run-off in a controlled way and can also store water for purposes such as flushing lavatories, watering plants and washing cars.
Forterra is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of a diverse range of clay and concrete building products. Forterra employs approximately 5,000 people worldwide, 1,600 of whom work in the UK at 18 manufacturing facilities and at the new Northampton based head office.