What a difference a day makes

This was the scene at midday on Saturday. Builders like ants were all over the roof of A1 Nails in Landgate.

At 10am on Saturday, November 9 you couldn’t help but notice the activity in Landgate, the bonfire preparations were well under way, most of the cars which would normally have been parked had adhered to the road signs and vanished, the only noticeable arrivals were two vans. One was used to bring in a team of roofers, the other to take away the old roofing battens and rubbish after ‘the job’.

New battens on, time for a quick sandwich.

A1 Nails was having its roof replaced. I don’t know what time the builders arrived and started work, it must have been quite early as by 10am the old tiles had been stripped off and neatly stacked (no need for a skip) ready for removal, the old roofing battens were already in the van waiting to be taken away.

The new roofing battens were being nailed on at a rate of knots by a highly organised team of nine on the roof. By 1pm the new battens were all in place and a well earned lunch break halted proceedings for a short while.

A human chain enabled the tiles to reach the top, ingenious and quick.

Within half an hour, at 1:30pm the new tiles were being fitted, a human chain passed the wraps of tiles from a pile on the roadside and despite the pouring rain the chain gang just got on with the job.

It was ingenious how the team positioned themselves up the ladders, passing the tiles between them to the scaffold platform above where tilers then placed them in position.

Nearly there, just a few more tiles to go.

The next photograph was taken at 2:45pm and as you can see, the side of the roof was nearly complete. At 4pm the roof was finished, all debris had been removed, the old tiles were neatly stacked and covered with bright blue, highly visible plastic sheeting with bollards to warn the public and the site was left secured, safe and clean with all ladders removed.

The only other item left behind was the roofers advertising board clipped over a bollard, S. Cole, Roofing and Building, with all their contact numbers and skills highlighted in red.

Al done by 4pm

Within a day, a complete side of a roof had been stripped and removed, old battens had been replaced with new and the complete roof side replaced with new tiles. All this was done without congestion or inconvenience to motorists or passers by, on a busy Saturday, the night of the bonfire celebrations. There was no mess, just a highly organised team working closely together to get the job done quickly, efficiently and with no fuss. You might want to write down their details, the photographs prove what can be done if you really want to. An example that BT, Southern Water and other infrastructure companies who regularly disrupt road use, might like to follow.

Take a note of these details, I imagine we will see more of their boards around before too long.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. Two comments. I hear the super efficient roofers were mainly from the EU, which is a benefit of Freedom if Movement.
    But the tiles don’t look like clay, which may be a problem if the building is in a Conservation Area or is Listed. If so, not so good.

  2. Charles Wardour

    The tiles may not be original specification but they look good. It is the decrepit properties in Rye that represent the real conservation issues.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here