Joe Driver plumber started from a small wooden shed at the bottom of Cottontree Lane, Trawden in 1922 & was established by its namesake Joe Driver. Joe Started in a small way & quickly built up his business to work for gentry and landowners of the time. This mainly consisted of establishing and installing water mains that we now take for granted together with water supplies to private properties to all the surrounding district - Sir Amos Nelson being one of the largest clients at the time. Whilst not acceptable now, asbestos pipes were a standard installation as well as steel, thankfully all of these have now been replaced.
In 1939 Joe saw the opening towards gas into private properties since this was major rural area & signed up with Calor Co. Ltd as a stockist carrying the Calor Gas Bottles that we know today. Due to delivery requirement Joe bought Calor Gas Leeds an ex Morris small delivery van for transporting the gas bottles even in those days he was ahead of his times. Oil also was highly active in the 1950s & he was one of the forerunners in the area having contacts of all the local farmers whom he had previous installed water mains or spring water supplies. The story goes that Joe located a bore hole in Laneshawbridge by Water Divining when the local Water Authority could not find water or so he said!
In June 1950 the company became Incorporated as J. Driver Ltd & is based at its present location of 36 Albert Road, Colne. It became a requirement of the Nelson & Colne Master Plumbers Association that a showroom be the entry criteria & although Joe had been a member for many years he set up his showroom at this address and in 1959 he became president of the association. Joe was also active in the Masons of the day & was very proud of his membership.
In the late 60's the business was allowed to be run down due to Joe's impending retirement & in 1973 was taken over by Terry Clark & Norman Whittaker. They ran a complimentary business of C & W Designs that carried out domestic & industrial design works, At the time Improvement & Bathroom grants were all the rage & monopolised the business at which point a building department was established to cater for the grant industry.
During the mid 70's Calor gas supplies also took off with the advert of domestic portable heaters & a 20 ton storage site was set up on the Whitewalls Industrial estate - this was the largest fully approved site this side of Blackburn.