Two O’Brien Stalwarts Retire After Clocking up an Epic Combined Service of Nearly 60 Years!

Mick O’Brien – Director Retires after 40 Years

After nearly forty years and having given virtually all of his working life to O’Brien Contractors, Mick O’Brian hung up his work boots and retired at the end of December 2020.

During his 40 years within the business brothers Mick and Peter O’Brien have enjoyed a longstanding and successful business relationship, to build one of the most recognised companies in the midlands, renowned for quality, professionalism and quality performance, growing the company from a £30k turnover in the early 1980’s to £30m turnover in recent years.

During his time as a Director at O’Brien Mick has seen many changes over the years, particularly with machine technology which Mick embraced, having worked from the ground up whilst the business was growing in the early days.

Mick headed up the plant department and ours Sports Division.  Mick has always had a passion for machinery and plant and ensured that the company has always been at the forefront with new machine technology, forming a pioneering relationship with Spectra Precision in the 90’s who specialised in geospatial technology, testing and developing machine automation on Dozers at a time when Spectra Precision were the only company worldwide to develop such systems. We were the first company in Europe to trial this system, which Mick embraced and during the last twenty years, these systems have revolutionised the construction industry and particularly earthworks projects.

With Mick heading up the plant and machinery division of the business and being passionate about machine technology, today we run 6 dozers with machine control and twenty of our 35 excavators with machine control and very sophisticated earthworks software enabling advanced design and earthworks balancing calculations providing information at the touch of a keypad.

Mick will be missed from the business and has now gone to enjoy his well earned retirement to embrace his other passions outside of the construction industry.

Peter O’Brien commented

 “I would like to thank Mick personally for all the years together and the loyalty and honesty where we have being friends and brothers along with business colleagues”.


Tony Murray – Accounts Manager Retires after 19 Years

 Having devoted over 19 years to O’Brien’s Tony Murray decided to retire from the end of December 2020.

Tony commented:

“My first experience of working at O’Brien was as part of the audit and accounts team for Murphy Salisbury.  Everyone was friendly and it was a great place to come to. I didn’t need to think twice when Pete and Mick gave me the opportunity to join the company on a permanent basis in 2002. I shall always be grateful to them for their help and support in that time.   The last 19 years have flown by and it has been amazing to see how the company has developed in that period, the product of Pete and Mick’s vision and the hard work and dedication of everyone connected with the company.

I just wanted to say a massive thankyou to everybody for the send-off you have given me.  It just proves how lucky I have been to work here with such a great crowd of people. I’m knocked out.  I want to thank everybody at the company for being part of the last 18 years, for the laughs and for putting up with me. Thanks again and good luck for the future. I am really going to miss the people and the place.

Peter O’Brien commented:

“Tony joined O’Brien’s in 2002 when we were turning over Four million pounds annually.  At that time he was the only person in accounts. Tony has played a significant part in our growth to a Thirty five million pound turnover business.

Tony’s loyalty and wish to support us has being unquestionable throughout the whole of his 19 years with us. On behalf of myself, Mick and the other directors I would like to thank him for his support throughout the time he has been part of the team and wish him good luck in his retirement.”

O’Brien Secure Contract at Stoneleigh Park National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre

O’Brien Contractors have successfully secured a contract with the Mars Pension Trust at their event centre, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

The project delivering temporary laydown areas for future events, infrastructure, plus upgrades to the existing sewerage system are required by the park as it is being severely affected by the HS2 development. The proposed rail line splits the site into two and stagnates the northern part of the facility whilst the HS2 construction operations are being carried out.

To maintain the operating capabilities of the business, alternative areas for event space and new traffic routes are required. Also the existing drainage system is currently being infiltrated by ground water, and our works on site will include upgrades to the system to alleviate these issues.

Stoneleigh Park National Agricultural and Exhibition Centre is the location for a wide variety of popular events, including a range of exhibitions, outdoor agricultural and equestrian events, conferences and shows, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Park each year.

O’Brien will act as Principal Contractor and Designer on the project.

The project commences February with a 16 week programme.

O’Brien Charitable Trust Dartmouth Holiday Raffle Result!

Congratulations to Maggie Ellis at Hilltop Farm Shop Leamington Spa, who is the winner of our fabulous Dartmouth Holiday!

The raffle ticket was drawn just before lunchtime on 07 December.

Maggie wins a holiday at this fabulous 4 bed holiday home right next to the wonderful Dartmouth foreshore with stunning views by day and by night and is over the moon about it!

£1,750 was raised from the sale of the tickets.


From the O’Brien Team.

O’Brien Support Veseyans Rugby Club in time for Christmas!

Local grass roots sports clubs play a huge part in local communities and are needed more than ever in the current circumstances. Veseyans Rugby have over 350 children at their club along with three senior teams and they have put in place stringent social distancing measures to allow training to continue, unfortunately the additional traffic and segregated parking meant that the existing roadways were inadequate.

With the help of Paul McGowan Grab Hire Ltd we are on site this week supporting the club by constructing new roads and upgrading the existing to ensure they can continue to operate and have a great start to 2021.

It might also come in handy if Santa needs an emergency landing strip next week!!

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2021.

Veseyan’s Rugby Club Commented:

As we look forward to a return to rugby soon as safe and possible we are still working hard behind the scenes to keep your club in great shape for the next year.

We have always been very lucky to have some great sponsors and our friends at O’Brien Contractors are working down at the club this week extending our roadway to improve the parking facilities on busy Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.

Club Chairman Marc Hemingway stated, “We are massively grateful to Tony Mitchell and all at O’Briens for getting this work done for us in the current economic climate, and we are delighted to have you on board as club sponsors this season.”

O’Brien Contractors awarded CHAS accreditation in recognition of Health and Safety best practice


Leading groundworks and civil engineering contractor, O’Brien, has been awarded the CHAS accreditation in recognition of its sound management of health and safety.

Managing Director, Peter O’Brien said: “The health and safety of our team, our clients and the public is our main priority and we invest in on-going health and safety to ensure our operations are as safe as possible.

This accreditation demonstrates to our clients that health and safety is pivotal to our business and site operations. CHAS is a market leader for health and safety qualification and I am delighted our industry-leading standards have stood up against the stringent qualification criteria.”


The O’Brien Charity Golf Day is back on!  After having to cancel the event earlier in the year, we have rearranged the day and it will now take place on Friday 16 October.

Our annual ‘Golf Day’, is a massively popular event so book early!

A light hearted fun day out, starting with a nice breakfast bap before heading out onto the golf course to get down to the serious business of trying to win the competition (all in good spirits and the best possible taste of course)!  We have a staggered start this year, to ensure we comply with the necessary COVID guidelines and advice.

Buggies are available as well as the opportunity to stay over at the course hotel for the night after an evening of auction action, winners announcements and dinner!

We have individual tickets as well as team sponsorship packages.




DARTMOUTH FORESHORE, STUNNING VIEWS – 4 BEDROOMS / SLEEPS 8 (includes 1 bedroom ground floor self contained annexe)

  • 100 TICKETS ONLY – £50 EACH (Draw will take place once 100 Tickets are sold)
  • Why not form a group to purchase a ticket
  • All ticket monies go to O’Brien Charitable Trust
  • Pay your £50 via Donate Button or win a holiday button (Paypal) in message function, write Dartmouth
  • Please wait for the message function to come up as it doesn’t come up immediately after payment confirmation) if you miss it, send a message to and we can find your donation via your Paypal email address.
  • We will allocate you a ticket number between 1 and 100 and email this to you.

(Donate button found at top on computer, bottom of page on mobile phone)


The property occupies a commanding position on the Dartmouth foreshore, and is located on one of the most sought after roads in Dartmouth.

Wow what fantastic views you will have to enjoy whilst spending the week here! The property sleeps 6 people in 3 bedrooms in the main house, with a further self contained ground floor annexe sleeping a further 2 people.

The property is within walking distance of the town’s many pubs, restaurants and boutique shops, a town which has retained much of it’s original charm and is full of character.


The house occupies a commanding position on the Dartmouth foreshore, with amazing views up to Noss Yard and down to the entrance to the Dart Estuary.

View from the rear garden


This charming town is within walking distance of the property and is located in the much sought after area of South Hams and is known for having an uncommonly temperate climate, consisting of lush unspoilt countryside, hidden coombes and a spectacular coastline.

Accommodation includes:

First Floor: Hallway, Kitchen / breakfast Room (with views across the estuary, with back door leading to the garden), Lounge (triple aspect views and private terrace), Cloakroom / WC
Second Floor: Principal Bedroom Suite (with en-suite) and access to 2 Further Bedrooms and Family Bathroom
Ground Floor: Annexe with Bedroom, Bathroom and Kitchen / Diner
Single Garage, Landing Platform, Running Mooring and Garden
2354 square feet of floor space (excluding garage)

View of the rear of the property


This type of house in the area house rents out at £1,000 low season and £2,000 high season. The property would be available for a choice of one week over a 12 month period after the draw. The house will be undergoing modernisation for a period in 2021 but this is unlikely to start before August 2021, (if they are underway, you will be given the opportunity to take a week after the works are completed).

Please Note: The property is not suitable for wheelchair users, the infirm or pushchairs as there are a number of steps from the street down to the property.

About Dartmouth

Situated on the banks of the picturesque River Dart, it’s the perfect year-round destination for a holiday. No matter the weather or time of year, Dartmouth is an exciting town just waiting to be explored.

With numerous festivals and events, exhibitions and markets taking place throughout the year, as well as a great range of attractions and activities both in

Dartmouth and nearby, there is always something happening in this vibrant harbour town.

If it’s food you love, there is no better place to immerse yourself in Devon’s local produce, from seafood to ice-cream and fudge, the town is a food-lovers paradise.

There’s no better place to get out and about in the fresh Devon air. Put on your boots and get walking to enjoy the stunning South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South West Coast Path, both of which are on the town’s doorstep.

You can discover the stunning South Devon countryside by car, foot, bike or boat – the River Dart is nature’s playground for those who love exploring. The beaches in and around Dartmouth are some of the best in the west.

Places to Visit

Forts and Castles, the Britannia Royal Naval College all accessible to visitors, spend a day exploring the historical buildings and places of Dartmouth.
Historical Houses and Gardens

With 2 English Heritage and 2 National Trust properties in Dartmouth, as well as several stately homes and gardens in the surrounding area – you can spend days exploring. A visit to Agatha Christie’s holiday home at Greenway is a must – both the house and gardens are a real treat for visitors – and if you arrive by boat you experience the beauty of the River Dart which Agatha loved so much.

Steam Trains and More

It’s not just the maritime history that sets Dartmouth apart – it’s also the home of Thomas Newcomen, the inventor of the Steam Engine. A working engine can be viewed at the Dartmouth Visitor Centre why not view the engine and then enjoy a trip on the Dartmouth Steam Railway to round off your industrial education.

Other Things to See and Do?

  • The Newcomen Engine House, housing one of the few surviving ‘Atmospheric Engines’.
  • Bayards Cove Fort, a single storey Tudor artillery fort built before 1534 to protect the harbour
  • Dartmouth Artisan Market held on the 4th Saturday of the month in Dartmouth’s Old Market Square.
  • Dartmouth Museum, a fascinating museum full of history – Fun for all the family, under 12’s go FREE
  • Guided History Tours – walking tour pointing out the most important buildings and places
  • Dartmouth Castle at the mouth of the Dart, discover the history over the centuries along your way.
  • Coleton Fishacre House / Garden, travel back to the Jazz Age at the home of the D’Oyly Carte family.
  • Dartmouth’s Mayflower Heritage Trail – Walking Tour

Nearby: Totnes – 13 Miles – Kingsbridge – 15 Miles





O’Brien Directors Match £1 for £1 for Charity! Could you help by donating just a £1 each?

Could you help us by donating just a £1 each? Click the link to our charity page below….


Last year we donated £30,000 to charity organisations such as: Child Bereavement, Terminally Ill Children, Air Ambulance, Homeless Charity, Youth Charity
ALSO!!!! Over the next few weeks we will be releasing details of other fundraisers, including a holiday raffle, air miles, but this kick off campaign is simple but effective and a great way to kick off our 2020 charity drive.

The Directors will match your donations up to £15,000 to make £30,000 for charity!



Congratulations to Christie McBride, our Outstanding Contribution Award Winner August 2020!

Congratulations to our site operative Christie McBride, who has won our 3rd Quarter Employee Outstanding Contribution Award for  June – August.

Christie was nominated by his Project Manager Guy Baker who said: “We nominated Christie due to his willingness to learn, his good attitude to work and willingness to get stuck in on our works on the £50m Blythe Valley project for ZF.”

O’Brien Values Skills and Dedication of our Site Teams

In recognition of this, we have for many years run the ‘Employee Outstanding Achievement Award’. The award goes to a member of one of our site teams each quarter to coincide with our quarterly newsletter.

Project Managers nominate the operative that they think has gone above and beyond for the previous quarter and the candidate with the most recommendations wins the award. In recognition of their outstanding contribution, the winner gets a £500 cheque and a certificate in recognition of their hard work.

O’Brien Donate £5,000 to the Fantastic Malawi Orphans Home of Hope


O’Brien Contractors have donated a further £5,000 to support Home of Hope, a fantastic children’s home in Mchinji, Malawi which cares for over 700 orphans from all over Malawi area.

Back in 2017 we donated £7,000 towards setting up a Vocational Training Centre, supporting the Malawi Orphan Fund through working with Phil Janes at SDC Builders Limited.  Phil goes over to Malawi with his wife and a group of other volunteers, providing their time to carry out projects at the home. This time the team will be building additional toilet and bathing facilities as well as repairs to the accommodation blocks at the village and other crucial works.

Ruth Janes – Hon Treasurer Malawi Orphan Fund said, “Many thanks for the very generous donation of £5,000 to Malawi Orphan Fund from O’Brien Contractors. I confirm that it has safely reached Malawi Orphan Fund’s bank account. We will pass this gift on to the Home of Hope in the very near future.  This money will be of enormous benefit to all the children and young people living and studying at the Home who are among the poorest, most disadvantaged or vulnerable within Malawi.”

Malawi Orphan Fund supports the Home of Hope children’s home in Mchinji, Malawi, which cares for orphans from all over Malawi, providing food, shelter and good quality education in a loving environment. Their primary means of support is through sponsorship.

Home of Hope’s vision is for equipping orphans and other vulnerable children to lead independent lives to the full, by providing them with vocational skills to enable them to enter skilled employment, or set up businesses of their own.

Home of Hope consists of 5 main sectors: the Village, the School, the Farm, the Clinic and the Vocational Centre. Together they enable the Home to best meet the needs of those they care for.