Farmers are busy people who need to know that their chosen supplier will get the job done efficiently and to a high standard, saving them time, money and sleepless nights.
Charlie Woodger, who heads up Ash, Kent-based JPR Maintenance & Construction Services Ltd, is a prime example of a trusted contact whose number is likely to be on speed dial with a number of farmers across the South East.
He recalled one occasion when a client in the Dover area, using a phone ‘app’ to keep an eye on his farm buildings while away on holiday, spotted a flapping roofing sheet, dislodged by strong winds, that was threatening to let rain in to the building close to an expensive new electrical installation.
“He rang me at 7.30 on a Saturday morning in a bit of a panic and asked if I could help,” Charlie said. “We were there shortly afterwards, replaced the sheet and left everything secure and watertight. He said at the time that he wouldn’t forget it – and we’ve done a considerable amount of work for him since then.”
Another regular customer is Matt Cooke, who farms 600 acres of tenanted arable land at Broomhill Farm, Camber and who invited South East Farmer to his premises to take the photograph of Charlie and the JPR team on this page.
Just after the photographer arrived there was a short delay while Matt took Charlie to one side to discuss another re-roofing project on one of his stores. “Charlie did a great job of repairing and replacing a number of our buildings following a major fire seven years ago and we now rely on him for all our repair and refurbishment work,” explained Matt.
“He’s just ultra-reliable, as is his team. They turn up when they say they will, they do the job to a high standard and the invoice is the same as the quote, unless we’ve agreed extra work in the meantime. You can’t ask for more than that – and it’s why I use JPR for all our projects.”
While Charlie, who has more than 25 years’ experience in roofing and construction, manages the company, JPR Maintenance & Construction Services was set up with his partner Sarah and son Jack as directors. As well as providing Jack, 28 with the opportunity to take the business forward, it has proved a winning combination, with Charlie’s vast experience and contacts combining well with the drive and enthusiasm of his son.
Jack is supported on the ground by long-serving employees Christie Grigore and Petrica Mariaus, described by Matt Cooke as “incredibly hard working guys who do a first-rate job”, while Sarah looks after admin, ordering, invoicing and the many other tasks necessary to keep a busy company running smoothly.
While specialising in refurbishment, re-roofing and repairs, JPR Maintenance & Construction Services also takes on new build projects of all shapes and sizes, from general purpose farm buildings to large, galvanised, steel-framed grain stores, including groundworks, drainage, pre-stressed concrete grain walling and concrete flooring.
The company supplies and installs all kinds of cladding materials, from traditional fibre cement sheeting through to insulated composite panels, and can supply roller shutter and personnel doors. Converting farm buildings to smaller units to support diversification schemes is another service currently in demand.
It also specialises in the removal and disposal of asbestos products and is experienced in the demolition and disposal of all types of building. “We often get called out to fire and storm-damaged buildings to take down the remains and clear the site in a professional and controlled manner,” Charlie added.