After 35 years of working within the property preservation industry, David Marshall our Northern Operations Director has decided the time has come to hang up his damp meter and retire.
David has gathered a wealth of experience in the damp proofing industry and his knowledge and experience will be missed by colleagues and clients alike. Before he went, we asked him a few questions on his working life and future plans.
How long have you worked in the construction/property preservation industry?
I have worked in the construction industry since Aug 1972 when after sitting my A levels, I responded to an advert from Rentokil for a Trainee Technician. Three interviews later, which included one with my parents to help get me interview ready, I was given the job; on the strict understanding I got my hair cut!
I was with Rentokil until 1977, when I went on to join an engineering company and subsequently joined Protim in Jan 1978 which is the ProTen Services we now know.
What is it that you have enjoyed most and has driven you throughout your career?
Being given the opportunity and the challenge of problem solving; working in different property types ranging from social housing to properties owned by the Royal Family. I have worked in Sandringham House and Estate, Windsor Castle and numerous other historic buildings throughout the UK.
Is there a particular project that stands out to you?
It has to be Dry Rot treatment and repairs to a property owned by John Moore University in Liverpool which we carried out in the late 1990’s. What stands out was the scale of the works and the resulting cost which was in excess of £700k, all carried out and project managed by our in-house team and site operatives. It is always a privilege to work on a project where the sole aim is to restore a property back to its former glory. It’s really what our industry is all about.
What would you say is one of your proudest achievement in your working life?
Being the Grantee of the Royal Warrant for the Company was a particularly proud moment in my career. I held this for 10 years.
Apart from that, being able to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of our industry such as working in newer buildings which have been either badly designed or have been poorly thought out during refurbishment work.
What do you think are the challenges within the property preservation industry today?
The science of ventilation, the complexity of the various range of services we can (could offer) and the training and recruitment of people able to respond to these services.
If you could give any advice to someone thinking about working in the property preservation industry what would it be?
Keep learning, knowledge is key. Don’t assume you know everything even though you have letters after your name.
What do you think is instore for ProTen?
ProTen is well placed to move forward and there is a drive and determination within the company to make that happen. Continuing to carry out the core services of damp proofing and timber treatment will remain a priority but also adding to that mix, with new products and expansion of services and investment into customer service systems. I look forward to watching from the side-lines.
I will also take this opportunity to introduce Gary Laird who joins ProTen from Peter Cox as Commercial Director and Ian Hodson-Fraser who has been with ProTen for 5 years and will take up the position of Northern Regional Manager. They are a great asset to the company and I wish them well.
And finally, how will you be spending your time in your retirement?
I have a number of outstanding projects to be completed at home which I now won’t have any excuses not to finally finish! We are looking at a possible holiday retreat and of course golf and grandchildren to keep me on my toes!