As DALROD celebrate our 35th Birthday, we took a look back through the last 35 years, to see how the ever-expanding company has evolved into what it is today, through the eyes of some of the staff who have been with the company the longest.

DALROD was founded in 1985 by Walter and Margaret Lane. They recognised a niche in the drain cleaning industry and opened the first DALROD office, running straight from the family home in Peterborough. This concept of a professionally run family business is still a huge and important factor contributing to the day to day running of DALROD.

By 1987 Walter’s son Dave Lane and his wife Jo Lane joined the company, each working their way up through all roles in both the office and out on-site, right through to the present day, as company directors.

To mark its 25th anniversary in 2010, DALROD opened a North East depot based in the Newcastle area. This office now offers our 24-hour service to customers in Alnwick, down to Darlington, as well as many of the surrounding areas. This service centre is managed by Marc Defraine, who began his DALROD journey in 1989.

“I started in 1989 straight from school as a trainee engineer. I made my way up to an engineer and then a senior engineer. In 2003, I became DALROD’s first salesman (Business Development Manager). In September 2005, I left the company to move to the North East and in September 2010, I opened up & managed DALROD’s North East office.” Marc said.

And Marc acknowledged the vast change the company has gone through since its formation, 35 years ago. 

Marc, Contracts Manager from our North East Service Centre, with a very happy customer.

Back in 1989, there were just three of us. Now I have no idea how many people are employed! My role has changed significantly now, as I now not only work out on-site but also run the day to day office side of things in the North East.” Marc said.

“I loved my time working from Head office during the early years & this was a major factor in me agreeing to open & manage the North East service area when approached by Dave in 2010.” He concluded. 

Another long-standing member of the DALROD family is Mike Pollard. Mike started in February 2001 as a Drainage Engineer on a 4-week trial for DALROD Cambridgeshire, with the option of becoming a Franchisee.

Mike is now approaching his 20th year as the Director of DALROD Cambridgeshire but remembers the company as it was back in 2001. 

“The company has changed massively; in fact, the whole group has expanded from its humble beginnings. Initially, I was a drainage engineer but when I took on the franchise, I became an employer of a handful of staff, whilst still being an engineer and taking on all the skills involved in running a company.” Mike said

Mike Pollard with Walter, Margaret, and Dave Lane signing his first Franchise agreement in 2001

Mike is very pleased with the journey he’s been on with the business in the last 20 years and is looking forward to what the future might hold for his franchise and the business as a whole. 

“The company has a more professional structure now as it looks towards becoming a national company in the future. It’s been enjoyable, plenty of ups and downs along the way but on the whole, I wouldn’t change anything on that journey.” Mike added.

Carol Whiting has been a part of the DALROD Head Office since December 2003. She started by answering the phones and typing up camera surveys and quotes and is now a Franchise Administrator.

“Way back then, the company only had two or three franchises: Cambridge and Peterborough and I think Suffolk, so it was quite small compared to what it is now. Over the years, new franchises have been added and it is now expanding very quickly. When I started there was only myself, Aimi Morley and a lady called Tracey in the office, along with Marc Defraine and Dave and Jo Lane, of course. At this time, Walter (Dave’s dad), was there too.” Carol said.

Carol, a long-serving employee of DALROD

And Carol has held a number of roles since her arrival at the company in 2003: “I have done various roles over the years, and moved on to become PA for Del Guiton, who was a Regional Manager at the time. I typed up all of his quotations, as well as general office work, and eventually became Office Manager. As we have so many franchises now, I share the invoicing/credit control with Lisa Hudson.”

Carol is one of the longest-standing members of the Head Office staff and has seen the change in the business throughout the years from a different perspective to that of Marc and Mike. 

“The biggest difference is the size of the company now compared to back then and now there are many more checks and procedures in place to ensure a professional service, but it still remains a very friendly company to work for with lovely Directors who have made it a pleasure. All staff are treated very well, and the management are very approachable making it a nice place to work!” Carol concluded. 

Our service centres are strategically placed across the UK, in order for us to confidently provide a genuine 24-hour service to the whole of the UK. Our highly trained team have always been on hand to resolve any drainage issue you may have with your residential or commercial drains and will be more than happy to help for many years to come.

If DALROD can help you with any drainage needs, give us a call on 0330 1003 222 or email us on drains@dalrod.co.uk, we’ll be delighted to help.

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