The Lord giveth while the rogue trader taketh away

Weekly Industry Recap: week ending 14 Mar 2013:

Just as the roof of an historic church is saved from decrepitude another report emerges how rogue traders have fleeced thousands of pounds from hapless victims.

First, the good news: a popular church in the Peak District, Burbage’s Christ Church, has been given a new lease on life thanks to repair work done to its roof by Martin-Brooks. The Sheffield-based roofing firm were called in by architects Graham Holland Associates in order to undertake extensive repairs on the Grade II listed church’s south vestry, south transept and nave.

The roof was doing poorly thanks to defective guttering, and in fact after it was discovered that dry rot had set in, the Norman style church was given a place on the Buildings at Risk Register. Luckily, the funds to repair the damage were forked over by not just a fundraising drive but by an English Heritage grant, which allowed Martin-Brooks to not just renew all the lead gutters n the roof’s central valley but also fit several sections with insulation in order to keep the elements at bay.

While the news that the church has been repaired is indeed heavenly, it hasn’t been all good news this week. In fact, one resident of South Shields has gone through hell after he was victimised by rogue traders posing as roofing experts. The home owner, who is in his sixties, was approached recently by a pair of scammers claiming to be roofers, informed him that they could see some loose tiles on his roof.

The two, which have been reported to have spoken with Irish accents, won the householder over and convinced him to pay them in advance to the tune of several hundred pounds before disappearing. A few days later they returned in order to carry out some perfunctory work on the roof, but at least one of the man found his way into the poor man’s house, purloining thousands of pounds from a drawer in the bedroom, and then convinced the man to drive to the bank that day to withdraw cash to pay them for the ‘finished work.’

Instances like this absolutely incense me, as this not only ends up with poor victimised householders but it also absolutely ruins the reputation of all those excellent, honest, hard working roofers out there today. I sincerely hope the police track down these two thieves ad throw the book at them; they deserve no better than that at least, if you ask me!

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