Managing Director
Pendrich Height Services

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Mark P

00:00:02 My name is Mark P and I’m the owner of Pendrich Height Services. Pendrich Height Services is a company who specialise in high level maintenance, demolition and basically working on high, tall structures where other people can’t get access or won’t attempt to get access.

00:00:19 The sport I’ve done from the age of five was judo, right through school, I done it until I was national champion five, six times for Britain and European championships, things like that. Trying to source money to go into national events was very difficult. I knew I was going to have to work to source my sporting events. I was coming to the end of my school days and I knew I was going to have to get a job. I was only 15 and I went to three employers that day. A slater, a glazier and a steeplejack. I went in and asked if there was any jobs and by the time I got home I had three phone calls asking me to go to the three jobs. The one that I chose was the first one that came back to me and gave me the offer. I might not be sitting here today if they hadn’t of phoned that night and said, “Start the next day.” If it had been another guy I might have been a slater. So, I don’t know.

00:01:12 When I started working with Pendrich my training started slipping. Rather than training five nights a week it would be four nights a week and then you were working away from home and trying to find gyms away from home, things like that and you’re trying to adapt two lives then. You’re either going to be world champion at judo and try and make some money or you’re going to be successful at your work. I could feel my results slipping. I went for British champion getting beaten in the final one year and then I went from getting to the final to finishing third and then I knew I was on a slippery slope as far as my training was, so then I had to concentrate on what I was good at or what I was getting better at and that was my steeplejacking abilities. I was making very good money. I was financially flush and I was…I bought a house and I bought a new car and by the time I was 19 I had a house and a car and a wife. By the time I was 21 I had a kid, so you have to prioritise things in life and I was starting to build my family and obviously get better houses, get better cars, things like that and basically the sport just slipped eventually.

00:02:17 Obviously I started as an apprentice and I just worked my way up. You become a steeplejack’s mate, then you become a steeplejack and I was running all Pendrich’s big jobs at the time and I decided I was going to try and do it myself even at the age of 21. And I decided to start my own company and that’s what I done. I bought a van, I started my own company and I built it up. It was very difficult but I never backed off. I kept going and going and going all the time. I was working night and day and eventually got some good jobs which built up the cash flow allowing to keep the business going.

00:03:00 Pendrich was coming up for sale and I was running my business which was, it was successful, I was employing up to maybe 15 to 20 men but I knew that Pendrich were a lot bigger than what I was and I made a formal offer and it was accepted. So, that’s how I actually bought over the holding company at Pendrich. Again, it was very, very tough because we were bought into lot of problems as well when we were taking over a new company and there was contracts and there was work to find and things like that. So it was very difficult and quite messy at times but we muddled through and now we’ve got it on the straight and narrow and we’re working for some really reputable companies now.

00:03:45 The definition of success is basically every day is a success for me because I can keep all these people employed and I feel that I’m providing a service to the niche market that the steeplejack is and that’s a success to me. I still actually work, I physically work, I climb, I assess the structures, I do surveys on all the structures and it’s very satisfying to know that you’re sending that report out. You know what that specific job is and to get an order back. When you receive the order back for the work that you’ve put into the survey and the report, that is, that is good, the best feeling for me is getting the order back. ENDS


Mark P is Managing Director of Pendrich Height Services, a company which provides steeplejacks for the construction industry. When he was fifteen he went to three local employers, a slater, a glazier and a steeplejack. He went to the first one to offer him a job – the steeplejack.

More information about Scaffolders, stagers and riggers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

100%  male 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Job holders in this unit group erect and dismantle scaffolding and working platforms, set up lifting equipment and ships’ rigging, maintain and repair steeples, industrial chimneys and other tall structures and install, maintain and repair ropes, wires and cables.
There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is initially received on-the-job. Skilled workers must obtain Construction Skills recognised scaffolders record scheme cards through the completion of approved courses and further work experience. NVQs/SVQs in Scaffolding are available at Levels 2 and 3.
  • Examines drawings and specifications to determine job requirements;
  • Examines scaffold tubing and couplings for defects and selects, fits and bolts scaffold tubes until scaffolding reaches required height;
  • Lays and secures wooden planking to form working platforms and fixes guard rails, ladders, cradles and awnings as required;
  • Erects jib, derrick and similar hoisting equipment and installs ropes, pulleys and other lifting tackle;
  • Forms rope slings, ladders, netting and other rigging and measures, cuts and repairs wire or fibre rope.
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Specialised construction 19583
Construction 5314
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