We find it hard to believe, but founder of WT Waste Wally Thurtle turns 80 this week. On behalf of all our staff and customers, we'd like to wish him a very Happy Birthday!!!
Wally started his waste collection business in the early eighties after a farm accident saw him lose three fingers on his right hand.
He bought a tractor and trailer and collected waste from chalets around Hemsby on weekends as new holidaymakers arrived. One of his favourite games was to tell holidaymakers that the trailer was there to collect the furniture in their chalet as it was being repossessed from the campsite.
Many family members - brothers, sisters , nieces, nephews and his sons, Gary and Max, would spend the day collecting and loading bin bags with him to get the business started.
One camp became four and the business expanded into collecting from general trade premises: initially holiday businesses but later general traders around Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, then Norwich. The trailer was upgraded to a Dennis dustcart.
Wally expanded into a yard on Swanstons Road, Great Yarmouth, in the early nineties and employed his nephew Philip as a driver and maintenance manager alongside his son Max. His son Gary came on board in the early noughties and the company expanded into a waste recycling yard on the Harfreys Industrial Estate, where it started offering skip hire.
Wally sold the trade waste side to Glazewing in 2011 and the company concentrated on expanding skip hire and recycling services. Wally is still active in the business today, but also serves as a figurehead for the staff. He is an example of what hard work and determination can bring you.
If you haven’t met Wally before, you can get an idea of his personality from this video (filmed before lockdown last year) when local vloggers The Dippy Detectorists came to visit the reclaim yard.