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My Career in roofing almost started by accident,
I have always loved football. At the age of 16, I was signed to QPR football club, so I was placed with a local London family (who happened to be roofers) to live while playing for QPR. When my contract ended with QPR after 2 years, I stayed in London where I worked as a roofer for my host family for 3 years before returning home to play Irish league football with Bangor & Ards.
When I returned home I was labouring on sites. I enjoyed roofing and wanted to get back into it. When I met George Prentice (senior) I asked him for a roofing job with him.
After a few years I set up my own roofing company JM Roofing and sub-contracted work from what was then George Prentice Roofing.
My business grew and eventually the two companies merged to become Prentice Roofing.
Thirty years later, I still happily run what is now Prentice Roofing LLP with George Prentice’s son George.
Roofing has been the trade of my family for several generations.
My grandfather and great grandfather where both roofers and since my Father started prentice roofing back in 1983, I have always been interested in roofing, construction & Architecture.
I started working on roofing jobs for my Father at the age of 15 at weekends and during school holidays.
Thirty years ago that wasn’t such a big issue for health and safety although I wasn’t allowed on the roofs until I was 17. Back then we didn’t have forklifts on site, so my job was staying on the ground loading tiles onto the tile elevator, mixing mortar or grading slates.
At 17 rather than do A levels I decided to do a B-Tec in construction (I wanted to be a building site foreman) which was 2 years full time at Lisburn FE College, that then lead me on to a 4 years Degree in building management at Jordanstown Uni.
The whole why through my education I continued to work weekends and holidays roofing for my Father, often in a team for his business partner John.
After finishing university, I started as a contract manager for a utility contractor working for NIE where I gained a lot of experience of management, tendering, pricing and health and safety. I was there for 5 years when my Father asked me to join the family business as it had grown and he and John need extra help to manage it.
Almost 20 years later my Father has recently retired, and I now proudly run the business in partnership with John Murray.