The History of Skips

Planning on remodelling or making any other big structural changes to your home? Hiring a skip is the best solution to get rid of all the disposable materials you are going to generate. For instance, you might have been spending a long time converting your boring back yard into fashionable Zen garden – pond with orange carps included. Or perhaps you have decided to add a greenhouse where you will grow your own vegetables from now on. No matter your plans, it’s always so convenient having a skip placed next to your house… but people have not always enjoyed this privilege!

When Did Skips Start to Be Used?

Skips played a key part in shaft mining. In this particular kind of mining, a tunnel was excavated vertically from the top down. These tunnels – which were later turned into galleries, drifts and levels – extended towards the ore body, sometimes for several kilometres. Skips were used inside them to hoist this ore to the surface. If the mining operation was small, the skips were mounted underneath a cage, whereas larger mines had separate shafts for the cage and the skip.

Edwin Walker and the Skips

You might have never heard of Edwin Walker, but he was an engineer working in Southport. He had realised that the growing distances between households and dumping grounds – because obviously, nobody in a large city wants to live close to the latter – were quite inconvenient. That is why he worked along with the lorry manufacturer Pagefield to offer the world a solution.

The Pagefield Method

In 1922 Pagefield and Edwin Walker had a plan: they were going to bring 300 cubic feet horse-drawn containers on 20-inch diameter wheels to the place where the disposable waste was generated. Once these containers were full, they were attached to the back of a Pagefield lorry and taken to be disposed. This was a system supervised and provided by the municipal services.

S&D and Their Innovative Trucks

Pagefield’s system was revolutionised in 1926 when petrol-engineered trucks were added to the process. These – then – very innovative machines had been designed by Harry Shelvoke and his partner, James Drewy. As you can imagine, the fuel-powered vehicles were able to cover larger distances in a relatively short period of time.

Why Did Skips Grow in Size and Popularity?

During the next years, skips got larger and more widely used. Several independent companies starting providing them as a service, as it happens nowadays. Many Victorian houses were being largely remodelled and needed to have parts removed to adapt to electric and technical innovations. Because of this, the size of the skips grew exponentially until they were able to take even part of a house!

But, why did they get so popular? DIY became first a necessity in the UK – after the Second World War, when people didn’t have much money to spend – and, later, a hobby. Customer demand increased: people wanted to be able to hire their own skips in different sizes depending on the kind of project they were doing. And that is how companies such as Buchanan Skips appeared in Edinburgh.

Thinking about hiring a skip? We have many sizes available. You’ll be happy to know that we can bring one to your door the same day you place your order. Plus, we know how these things are – you start thinking just of refurbishing the living room and end up adding an electrical fireplace and an open deck to the garden – so you can have the skip as long as you need it. If you have any enquiry please get in touch with our friendly team, we’ll be happy to help.

This entry was posted in Skip Hire. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.