About Central Piling

In 1978 Roy Rawden, owned the Sudbury Sheet Metal Company that was located next to his Father’s company W.Farlow & Co Ltd. His name was Ronald Rawden.

They were both expanding and required extensions to their buildings. Eastern Piling were contracted to specify and install both sets of foundation piles. They used a Ruston Bucyrus RB22 crawler crane fitted with a hanging leader to insert closed-bottom cased piles driven with an internal drop hammer. Although the driver and banksman were as conscientious as could be expected, progress was torturous because communication, management, planning and logistics were problematic.

Roy and Ronald thought they could do better, so they had a chat with the rig driver Albert “Pam” Palmer and he suggested that they would need his son, Brian Palmer, and he also suggested Malcolm Rogerson as Estimator.

The five of them held equal shares in Central Piling & Foundations (East Anglia) Ltd. Brian Palmer came up with “Central” being neither West Pile nor Eastern Piling. The accountant took it on himself to register the rest of the catchy title.

They bought, refurbished and made equipment ready to go into the business of cased piling. They operated with Sudbury Sheet Metal from its small premises at Bulmer Road, Sudbury.

After the first anniversary everybody wanted out. The Palmers wanted to go back to being employed and Ronald was willing to take a small profit from a sale. Malcolm and Roy bought out the other three and continued on an equal basis.

Central Piling History

The original company changed to the holding company Central Plant Investments and started a new operating company called Central Piling.
An acre of land and built a new base at Milner Road, Sudbury. A couple of years later the size of the building had doubled.
Central Plant purchased the assets of Colets Earth Boring and started a new subsidiary company named Colets Piling.
Central Piling became the first piling contractor to have a radio telephone (Storno 900 System 4) fitted to each rig and the first piling contractor to computerize pile design, using a Commodore Pet 8032 and in-house software.
Central Piling purchased the 600 Group factory at Halstead and spent nearly a year remodelling it for the manufacturing of our in-house CFA rigs. In June 1989 we moved into Central Park, Halstead. This was just in time for a deep recession and the painfully sad day when half of the workforce were made redundant.
Central and Colets Piling split with Malcolm taking Colets and negotiating to buy the remainder of Eastern Piling and Roy staying with Central.
Steve Hadley joined from competitor Rock and Alluvium with a view to understanding the workings of the business and ultimately purchasing the company.
Roger Cox a former colleague of Steve and Operations Manager at Rock and Alluvium arrived to compliment Steve’s skill set and complete the purchase from Roy and his wife Lin who was herself a Director.
Central Piling completed their first secant piled retaining wall contract at Wanstead Water Treatment Works.
Our first Soilmec SF65 arrives from Italy to enable the installation of 30m deep CFA piles.
We construct the deepest basement in Central Piling history, 11m. This includes the use of 8m of sectional casing with a restricted access rig to form a secant piled wall.
Works commence on the construction of new premises on the Bluebridge Industrial Estate in Halstead, Essex. We undertake our first project in excess of £1 million for a major high rise residential scheme in Chelsea. Central Piling became one of the first contractors to instigate monthly concrete hose pressure testing.
Regional expansion is planned including offices in the West and North of England. A new Soilmec SF75 rig capable of installing 77m deep rotary deep, 2.5m diameter piles as well as CSP and CFA piles arrives in July. Further restricted access rigs will be delivered to extend the versatility and size of the fleet.