When Dave Smart was offered temporary housing at Sansaw after his house flooded, he made the decision to stay a bit longer… 18 years, in fact, and hasn’t looked back since.
“I had to wade out of my house in water up to my knees back in 2001. I was very grateful to be offered temporary housing on the Estate and we decided to stay.
“Living on the Estate, nothing is ever too much hassle and over the 18 years, I’ve had no complaints at all. Whenever something needs doing, it gets done and your house is treated as your own.”
Having ‘always messed around with windows’, Dave has been in the window cleaning trade for most of his working life. But it’s not always been easy.
“I’ve dipped in and out of window cleaning, having worked in double glazing installation for over 25 years and set up on my own for 15 of those. The credit crunch hit hard though for everyone, and I had to stop in 2008.
“Getting back into the window cleaning, I started doing windows around Market Drayton, Bayston Hill, Telford and Shrewsbury as my own business around four years ago, but now cover the Hadnall, Clive and Astley area.
“It came about through the double glazing – I’d have customers asking if I could clear gutters so I bought a machine and ended up doing the whole exterior for most.”
Using 100% filtered rainwater, Dave uses systems to ensure that his method of window cleaning is more sustainable.
“The rainwater goes through tanks that hold a few thousand litres, then goes through filters and a reverse osmosis system and an ionisation filter. It’s quite a complicated process but it’s better than wasting water which is common with window cleaning.”
Market Drayton born and bred, Dave made the move to Shrewsbury for his wife, who he’s been married to for 17 years.
“She’d kill me for getting our anniversary wrong!” he laughs. “We now have two boys aged five and eight. I joke that they’re little monsters but it was a hard start for us with 15 years of trying.
“Being on the estate has been brilliant, especially as when we’d had our first born, we used to have a long ditch in the back of the garden which used to flood over. Graham insisted on getting it piped through so that it was made safe for the children. You wouldn’t get that on a normal residential estate without having to pay out.”
A keen cyclist, Dave spends his spare time with the kids, either biking around the area up to Haughmond Hill or going fishing.
“I’ve taken them to the Cotton Fishing Club and the kids absolutely love it, though now it’s winter I’ve had to discourage them from keeping going on at me as it’s far too cold.
“Now the boys are at school, my wife helps me out at work as I’m beginning to expand the business. She’ll come and do a couple of days a week which makes things easier. I send her up the ladder sometimes!”