47 Years of Service 1973 - 2020
Les Woodward – ‘Company man through and through’
Our outstanding ambassador Les Woodward has retired after an astonishing 47 years of service. When we sat down to discuss the years of service Les had given to the company it was quite hard to comprehend just how long Les had been with the company. To put this into context, when Les joined us in 1973, the Sydney Opera House had just been opened, ‘The Exorcist’ is released at cinemas, Pink Floyd release ‘Dark Side of The Moon’, Concord makes its first transatlantic crossing, and a pint of beer would set you back 18.5p!
Les started life at Leighfields as a labourer, brought in to work by his father Ron who also served over 20 years with the business. Maurice Leighfield specifically remembers one of the first jobs Les worked on was alongside his father completing the refurbishment of his property in Old Town, Swindon. As Les settled into life at Leighfields he made good progression, becoming a handyman in the small works division, which then lead to him becoming a Working Foreman. After some years he then became Foreman on major projects and then finally moving into what was his final role as Site Manager.
Les worked on a huge number of projects from, various residential new build housing developments, refurbishment contracts for the likes of Laura Ashley, Brake Bros, WH Smiths and the McIlroys Department Store to name but a few. Les also worked on a large kitchen and bathroom refurbishment contract for Sovereign Housing which ran for over 10 years. Some of his most recent projects include the construction of a new Gospel Hall for the Plymouth Brethren and the Construction of a large industrial warehouse for SW Logistics another long standing family run business in Swindon.
Les was an excellent ambassador for the company, we have received numerous letters of thanks from clients where Les has been directly involved in the projects. Without people like Les our business would not be the business it is today, his relationships with clients had without doubt contributed to the repeat business we received because he demonstrated the core company values Honesty, Professionalism and Reliability. He also had fantastic relationships with our sub-contractors and supply chain partners.
To sum it up Les is an all-round top man, liked and respected by all. The Directors and Staff past and present wish him well in a very long and happy retirement.
Works Are Nearing Completion In Kidlington
Works on the two houses in Kidlington for Oxford City Housing are nearing completion. Works are also progressing well at the site of 10 houses and 36 flats in Finchampstead and the nine houses in Bracknell - with the timber frame being recently installed by crane.
Handover of Downside in Bracknell
We have now handed over our site in Bracknell. The completion of 26 apartments for Thames Valley Housing Association. A fantastic project that we are extremely proud of.
Works Continue At Wokingham And Oxford, Plus A New Site In Bracknell
Works are continuing at pace at our site of 2 houses in Oxford and the site of 10 houses and 36 flats at Finchampstead. Works have also began at a new site at Bracknell where 9 houses will be built for Forest Future Homes.
Works Near Completion At Bracknell
Works are nearing completion at our site of 26 apartments in Bracknell with the internal finishes coming along. Works are also progressing really well at our site of 10 houses and 36 apartments in Finchampstead.
Works Progressing Well And New Contract Awarded
It's been another busy month with great progress across our sites and R J Leighfield have also recently been awarded a new contract to redevelop a former elderly person's home in Bracknell to provide nine houses for shared ownership.
Sites Are Back Up And Running - With Works Progressing Well
We can now see a little bit of normality returning and have seen some great progression on all of our sites.
At our Kidlington site the foundations are in, the beam and block floor has been installed and the construction of cavity and internal walls is now underway.
Works are nearer completion at our site in Bracknell with final decorations, floor laying and external works ongoing.
Works are also progressing well at our Finchampstead site with the first 10 plots made water tight, the second floor blockwork almost complete on plots 11-26 and the main construction of the roof is underway for plots 27-46. Leighfield's have also recently asked some of the local children to decorate the hoarding and their artistic drawings have brought some much need colour to our site as we continue implementing our Covid precautions at our building sites and head office.
This month we've started a new contract with Oxford City Housing. This site is based in Kidlington and is the design and build of semi detached properties. Our sites in both Bracknell and Finchampstead are also progressing well, below are some recent shots from the 46 units at Finchampstead.
Sites And Office Back Open
Its has been a steady two weeks getting back to business on our site in Bracknell. We are please to see some great progress being made. A special thanks goes to our management team who have made the return a positive and successful process. Our site in Finchampstead has re-opened today and our head office in Royal Wootton Bassett has also opened.
Following the latest government guidance, the Directors of RJ Leighfield and Sons can confirm the following re-opening schedule.
Our site in Bracknell (Downside) will be re-opening this week, with a slow introduction of trades per day. This is to ease the flow of people on site allowing us to operate as safely as possible. If you are a sub-contractor or supplier please liaise with the Site Manager your slot to return.
Our site at Finchampstead (Arnett Avenue) will not be re-opening until week commencing 1st of June. The same rules and procedures apply that are outlined above. Please contact the Site Manager and to arrange your return to site
There have been some updates to our site policies and procedures, please make sure you are familiar with these before returning to our sites,
Our head office in Royal Wootton Bassett will be re-opening on the 1st of June, if you have an urgent enquiry then please send an email to
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our staff, clients, sub-contractors and suppliers for their continued patience and support during these turbulent times.
Simon, Mark & Robert
Staff Member Joins R J Leighfields
R J Leighfield are pleased to welcome Paul Francis who joins us as a site manager.
I know these are very worrying times, so I would like to take this opportunity to personally reassure you that we are working hard to keep all of our staff and sites safe; whilst continuing to fulfil our commitments to our clients and supply chain.
Our management and staff are able to work from laptops; we are in the process of preparing for home working in case we need to restrict access to our offices.
We believe there is likely to be a period over the next couple of months when site work ceases or becomes very difficult.
We are making every effort to limit the spread of the virus including enhanced cleaning of ‘high traffic’ areas. We have amended and will continue to amend our site inductions and tool box talks to reflect the situation as it progresses.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff who are continuing to work hard during these unprecedented times.
If you have any questions, please contact myself or one of the other Directors.
Staff Member Joins R J Leighfields
R J Leighfield are pleased to welcome Mike Richardson who joins us as an Estimator.
Richard Leighfield Retires
Having served over 30 years with the family business Richard has made the decision to retire and spend some well-earned time on the golf course.
On leaving school Richard joined the business as a trainee building surveyor studying part time at a building college. On completion of his training he was engaged as a building surveyor.
in the early 1990's he left the business travelling and following other interests.
He rejoined the company in 2000 taking up the roll as company buyer where he spent the next 19 years working closely with the construction management team.
The directors and staff would like to thank Richard for his loyal service to the business and wish him a long and happy retirement, acknowledging that he remains involved in the business as a director and shareholder of the parent company.
Positive Outlook For 2020
After a successful 2019 R J Leighfield & Sons are looking forward to 2020. A busy order book has given the confidence to expand the business and we have welcomed two new faces into the office, as well as this Robert Leighfield has become a director of the business. Robert is the 5th generation of the family to step into directorship of R J Leighfield & Sons and the family are extremely proud to see this happen. This year also marks another big milestone for the company as we enjoy our 135th birthday, something again the family are extremely proud of. We head into 2020 full of drive and excitement with two new contracts from a new client and the possibility of some in-house private ventures. Make sure you keep up to date with us on our Facebook and Twitter.
Two New Staff Members Join R J Leighfield & Sons
Leighfields are pleased to welcome Sue Evans and Tom McEntee who have just joined our company. Sue will be our Contracts Administration support and Tom will be a Contracts Manager / Surveyor.
New Leighfield Director
Robert Leighfield has been appointed as a Director at R J Leighfield & Sons Limited. He is the fifth generation of the Leighfield family to sit on the company's board.
Works Progress And Finance Director Retires
Works are progressing at our sites, with the roof now on at the block of 26 flats for Thames Valley Housing Association in Bracknell.
As we wish our customers, suppliers and subcontractors a very merry Christmas and a happy new year, we also like to wish our outgoing Finance Director Neil Golding a very happy retirement. Neil has worked at Leighfields for 39 years and has supported the company through numerous changes. In both his finance and health & safety roles, Neil has been a dedicated member of the company's managerial team and a credit to the greater construction industry, particularly during his time as Regional President of the National Federation of Builders. As Neil retires, just shy of his 40 years service to the company, everyone at Leighfields would like to wish him a very long and happy retirement, which we understand will keep him more busy than he is now.
Please be aware that the office will shut for the Christmas period from the afternoon of Friday 20th December 2019, and will re-open on Monday 6th January 2020.
Happy holidays, from all at Leighfields.
Works Complete At Staines And Near Completion At Cricklade
R J Leighfield have recently handed over the four new apartments at Staines upon Thames for Runnymede Borough Council. Works are also nearing completion at the new warehouse being built in Cricklade near Swindon.
Works Begin At Gorse Ride For Wokingham Housing
Works have begun on the 46 new homes to be built at Gorse Ride in Wokingham for our client Wokingham Housing.
We had previously built a two storey, 34 apartment, extra care facility at Fosters Lane in Reading for Wokingham Housing (WHL).
In WHL's "First steps in rebuilding a community" press release, Managing Director Bill Flood said "RJ Leighfield is a trusted partner of WHL. The organisation has a wealth of experience and expertise in the construction sector and were appointed following a competitive tender process. The results at Fosters were outstanding and we are looking forward to delivering the same quality housing at Gorse Ride.”
Julie Cole Completes 10 Years Of Service
Managing Director Simon Leighfield is pleased to award Julie Cole with a certificate of recognition for her 10 years of service.
Lucie Cory Joins R J Leighfield & Sons
R J Leighfield & Sons are pleased to welcome Lucie Cory as our new Finance Manager.
Concrete Floor Is Laid At The New Industrial Unit
The concrete floor has just been laid at the new industrial unit at Chelworth in Swindon. A Somero Laser Screed machine was used to achieve a FM-2 class finish for the new unit.
Works Are Progressing
Works continue to progress well at all of our sites, significantly we have seen the cladding nearing completion at our site in Chelworth and the scaffold is now down at our site in Staines
Contracts Manager James Nation Raises Money For Wiltshire Air Ambulance
Leighfield's James Nation has recently raised over £550 for the local Wiltshire Air Ambulance Charity by abseiling 200 feet down the Avon Gorge in Bristol. "It was really exciting and a really well organised event" James said. "I was nervous at the top but once I'd gone over the edge and was abseiling down it was exhilarating. Wiltshire Air Aumbulance is a great charity, you never know when you might need it". In total the team of 30 abseilers raised more than £3,700 for the charity which provides a dedicted, emergency medical helicopter service for Wiltshire and the surrounding counties.
New Site Manager Joins R J Leighfield & Sons
Leighfield's are pleased to welcome Andy Dursley, who has recently joined our team as a Site Manager.
Progress Continues At All Sites
Progress is continuing to go well at all our sites. In particular the foundations are in at the Bracknell site, roof trusses have been installed at the Staines site and the steel framework at the new industrial unit in Swindon is going up.
Two Local Awards, Demolition Completed And Waste Material Being Recycled On Site
R J Leighfield won the best social housing development award at the Local Building Excellence Awards with our development of 24 assisted living bungalows at Firethorn Close for Swindon Borough Council. We were also highly commended in the same category for our Bembridge Close & Sycamore Grove developments, also for Swindon Borough Council.
Plus, with demolition completed at the 26 apartment site in Bracknell, works are progressing with the foundations now. And a machine has been installed at the industrial unit development in Swindon which will sort the waste material on site, enabling more material to be recycled both on and off site.
Works Begin At New Site
Works have now begun at our site near Cricklade in Swindon where R J Leighfield & Sons are building an industrial unit for their new client S W Logistics. Works are also progressing well at Staines upon Thames and demolition has been completed at the 26 apartment development in Bracknell.
Groundworks are underway at our site of four new apartments being constructed for Runnymede Borough Council.
Leighfields will begin their Christmas shut down on 21st December and will re-open on 2nd January 2019. We would like to take this opportunity to wish our clients, contractors and suppliers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.
Works Start At Two New Developments
Works have just begun at two new sites. The first will be four new apartments being built for Runnymede Borough Council and the second will be a 26 new apartments for Thames Valley Housing Association.
R J Leighfield & Sons Join Charity Shooting Match
Four members of R J Leighfield & Sons, including Managing Director Simon Leighfield, joined a charity shooting match at Barbury Shooting School. The event was organised to raise money for TWIGS, a charity which runs a community garden and cafe in Swindon and who specialise in mental health issues and wellbeing.
New Contracts Manager / Surveyor Joins R J Leighfield & Sons
Leighfield's are pleased to welcome Oliver Gothard, who has recently joined our team as a Contractors Manager / Surveyor.
Moving On After 25 Years Service
Leighfield's MD Simon Leighfield and all the staff at Leighfields wish Surveyor John Worth the best of luck as he leaves the company after 25 years service. John and his wife are starting a new adventure in Cumbria and we wish them both good luck for the future and thank John for his dedication and hard work over the years.
6 Bungalows At Bembridge Close And Refurbishment Of A School Completed
The construction of six new bungalows at Bembridge Close and the refurbishment of a non-mainstream school in Swindon have now been completed. These projects were the third and fourth building projects R J Leighfields were undertaking for Swindon Borough Council.
24 Bungalows At Firethorn Close Completed
R J Leighfields have recently completed 24 assisted living bungalows at Firethorn Close for Swindon Borough Council. This is the second of four projects Leighfields are building for Swindon Borough Council.
Five Bungalows At Linden Avenue Completed
Works have recently been completed on five bungalows built for Swindon Borough Council. Linden Avenue is the first of four projects R J Leighfields are working on for Swindon Borough Council.
Investors In People Awards
R J LEIGHFIELD & SONS RECOGNISED AS AN INVESTOR IN PEOPLE
R J Leighfield & Sons has been awarded accreditation against the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating their commitment to high performance through good people management.
We are an SME, family run, general building contractor. The business was established in 1885.
Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. Investors in People enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale.
Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said “We’d like to congratulate R J Leighfield & Sons, Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to success. R J Leighfield should be really proud of their achievement.”
Commenting on the award, Simon Leighfield, MD of R J Leighfield & Sons, said “We are proud to once again renew our Investors in People accreditation and feel it is as valuable today as it was in 2009”.
Time Lapse Of Fosters Lane Build
Now the Extra Care Home at Fosters Lane is complete, we would like to share with you our time lapse video from beginning to end. Please see OUR Fosters Lane webpage to see OUR Journey.
Housing projects for Swindon Borough Council at Bembridge Close, Linden Avenue and Firethorn Close (Hawthorns) are progressing well. It is hoped these will be completed in the Spring 2018.
Completion Of Fosters Lane Extra Care Home
We are very pleased to announce the completion of the 34 bed Fosters Lane Care Home in Reading for Wokingham Housing Ltd.