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Heritage & History

In the late 1960’s Tom Ferncombe relocated from Ireland to southwest London in search of work. The 1950s had seen the largest net emigration from the country compared to all preceding decades and whilst this trend declined subsequently, it remained a feature through the 1960s and well into the 1970s. The economy was largely based on agriculture at this time, with less than a quarter of the working population employed in industry. It is perhaps understandable why our company founder decided to make his living elsewhere. 

Tom’s early days in London saw him providing labour to other contractors and builders. An early morning would see him picking up Irish labourers from the Edgeware Road, “there were plenty about back then” Tom recollects, and transporting them to wherever they were needed. This could be quite some distance and Tom remembers travelling to parts of Norfolk, Essex, Kent and of course London itself. The same journey would then be completed each evening. Through contacts, Tom started working for O.C. Summers Ltd, first laying gas mains around Croydon and then undertaking drainage work in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

Having worked in the Borough through O.C. Summers for Wandsworth, the reputation had been built. When an opportunity arrived to tender for the contract directly in 1973, Tom took it and was awarded the work. As a result, Cappagh Contractors was incorporated in 1973 and the formal company history begins. The rest, as they say, is history...

What our clients say

Having joined Portsmouth Water a year ago I have been very impressed by the service and support Cappagh have provided as our key infrastructure partner. In my view the Cappagh team displays all the appropriate behaviours to ensure that a real partnership succeeds and flourishes. Our confidence that we could successfully build on the experience of the last 4 years bears testament to the recent decision we took to extend our commercial arrangements with Cappagh for another 5 years. We are looking forward to meeting the challenges of AMP7 in the knowledge that our strong partnership with Cappagh will help us deliver further efficiencies and service improvements for our customers. 

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Bob Taylor

Bob TaylorCEO, Portsmouth Water

Thank you to all involved at Cappagh for the works on IFA2 at the end of 2020. To complete the project with what could have potentially been quite a tricky earthworks package in such smooth fashion was in no small part down to Cappagh. The support given by Cappagh and the flexibility to deal with constantly changing client requirements, from procurement, through planning of the works and then on to delivery, ensured that the project was executed safely, on time and within budget. The additional works undertaken during the programme also demonstrated Cappagh’s broad range of skills and ability to adapt safely to various works. Overall a very well planned contract, excellently managed on site. Thank you for your efforts and we look forward to working together again on future projects.

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Andrew Swann

Andrew SwannSenior Project Manager, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd

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