In 2019, Ilkeston born and bred Simon Templeman discovered the Westermann range of weed & moss brushes. This encounter brought him back to an industry he was part of 40 years ago. We sat down with Simon to find out all about him, his career and how well business is going as we enter the new decade.
Landscaping in the eighties
After leaving school in the late 70’s Simon became a self-employed landscaper, helping out a guy he described as his ‘second dad’. “I left Kirk Hallam School when I was 16 years old and joined a guy doing landscaping work. The issue was, this was during the late 70’s to mid 80’s and the recessions were quite prevalent then so to survive everyone had to adapt and do various bits and bobs.” Included in the odd jobs was laying block paving, which at the time, was the newest and latest home improvement. However, even back then Simon wondered just how people would keep it clean from dirt and especially moss.
At the age of 20, Simon decided it was time for a career switch and joined a packaging plant that made polythene bags for large chain supermarkets right through to small independent shops. “It was a very interesting job and I quickly learned that a 14-15 hour day landscaping was easier than a 12 hour night shift.” However, the positive of doing shifts was that this allowed both Simon and his wife Gill to explore the world by visiting places such as Singapore, Thailand and the Seychelles. “I even played cricket with the local kids in Sri Lanka, which was a really great experience.”
Starting up as a self-employed courier
Back to the grind, as Simon calls it, and after 11 years at the packaging plant he took redundancy allowing him an opportunity to head back to being self-employed. This time round he worked as a sub-contractor courier driver delivering high security items such as passports and legal documents. Being a people person, it was clear this job meant a lot to the Ilkeston born ex-landscaper, who recollects one of his favourite stories from his time as a courier: “I was delivering court papers in Chesterfield one day and the lady who answered the door looked at me and looked at the package in my hand then proceeded to slam the door in my face. Of course, being high-security, I knew these were important papers and had to be delivered so I kept knocking. After a moment the door re-opened and the lady had returned with two kids by her side; I didn’t quite understand what was going on but this time she carefully took the package from me and asked what it was. Of course, I didn’t know the contents so she started to open it there in front of me. As soon as she recognised what they were a huge smile rose on her face, tears started streaming down her eyes and she gave me a big hug. Turns out, these two kids were adopted in her hands were the official adoption papers.”
A few years after this the company Simon was sub-contracting for lost contracts, and such the work dried up. He took some time to digest thoughts on which his next career step should be, before discovering the Westermann Moss Brush. “It’s funny really, when I was 16 and laying block paving, I wondered how people would keep it clean, it’s not like tarmac where a big yard brush could do the job. Fast forward to last year and I was out walking my dogs, we took a route round an estate near me that is all laid with block paving and it was covered in dirt and moss. I thought ‘we’re in the 21st century there must be a way to clean this without pressure washing.’ After all, having spent a few years laying block paving I knew that blasting water at the blocks would only make them unstable.” It was this day that Simon took to the internet to uncover the solution he was looking for and, after a successful demonstration at our showroom in Sheffield, Simon invested in his next venture.
Driveway cleaning business becomes a success
6 months on and Simon has already established a very reputable name in the form of Weedpro-UK. Coming from a background of working in a polythene bags packaging, it’s fair to say that Simon more than most recognises the environmental benefit the Westermann brings. He’s proud to sell the service on the environmental benefits alone and glancing at some of the comments on the business Facebook page tells you the work that Simon does is of high-quality. “The most environmentally friendly system we have ever used with no mess, no splashes and all done within a few hours. Will definitely be using Simon at Weedpro again, without a doubt.”
With every surface, every customer and every day being different, the true versatility of the machine shines through – especially when tackling more delicate surfaces. In his last job of 2019, Simon was asked by a customer to clean press crete patterened concrete. By using a combination of the poly-propylene brush head, a little bit of water and an even smaller amount of traffic film remover he was able to bring the surface back to brand new. “There was green foam everywhere when I ran the machine over the damp surface but my word did it do the job”.
Away from driveway cleaning, Simon is kept busy by his two dogs Bentley, a maltese-shih tzu and Suzi, a purebred maltese. Whilst also enjoying a trip to clay pigeon shooting in between various trips to the South of France and Palma. “Me and my wife love to go somewhere close to home, but warm, where we can sit and watch the Mediterranean with a well-earned beer.”
Weedpro-Uk offer all aspects of hard surface cleaning, weed removal, and moss removal. If you’d like to contact them for a cleaning quotation you can do so by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message him on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Weedpro-Ukcom-100145041372858/.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the machines in our range please contact our Sales Team: Office 0114 269 9119, Simon 07718580231, email email@example.com
If you’d like to be a part of this Customer Stories series please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0114 269 9119.