In 1919 Mr. Ernest E.
Jeavons went into business as a public works
contractor. He was assisted by Mr. William
Waite. In March 1920, along with Mr. Herbert W.
Robinson, they founded a private limited
company. Mr. Jeavons was Chairman and Managing
Director, and the other two were Directors. Mr.
J. H. Kemp was appointed as Company Secretary
and they had a small yard next to the Three
Furnaces pub, 8 Furnace Parade, on the corner of
Wood Street. Next to the yard, which was about 25
yards square, was the blacksmith’s shop, the
stores and some small wooden offices.
For the first ten years or
so, the firm obtained orders for the laying of
G.P.O. cable ducts, which was its main activity
at this time.
More complex jobs followed after completing a
contract for Alcester Rural District Council for
the Bidford drainage scheme. Other contracts
supply and erection of large diameter
circulating water pipes at Nechells, for
Birmingham Corporation’s Electric Supply
Department and a contract for the laying
of pipes for the sewage disposal works at Wootton
Bassett. The firm also received a large number
orders for the laying of low and high pressure
gas mains throughout much of the country.
By 1922 the firm’s premises
in Furnace Parade was too small to cope with the
growing business and so land in Lower Church
Lane was purchased from the South Staffordshire
Mond Gas Company. New offices and factory
premises were built on the site, by the company’s