CECA Southern (Civil Engineering Contractors Association) name Ray Ransom, founder and chairman of Hampshire-based R&W Civil Engineering, as the winner of its Outstanding Contribution/Lifetime Achievement category at its prestigious annual industry awards.
In 1978 Ray founded what grew to become R&W with a £500 loan from the bank to buy a second hand JCB. R&W is now a major highway infrastructure and traffic management specialist, with over 350 highly skilled and trained employees.
The ever-constant driving force behind R&W, Ray has been an inspiration to many throughout the highway sector. He’s also been directly responsible for championing improvements in safety and operating practices plus has conceived and implemented many sector changing innovations; one being the development and introduction of the now famous side tipping lorries which fed the concrete paving trains responsible for creating the motorway network across the country.
Ray said “I was totally bowled over when they announced I’d won the CECA Outstanding Contribution/Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual dinner, which I’ve attended for many years, I had absolutely no inclination that I was even up for this award. I’ve always strived to professionally run and grow my company while at the same time promote safe working practices in what is still considered a dangerous business sector.”
One of the first projects Ray secured having founded his own company in 1978 involved working on the construction of the Manchester Stockport bypass. This led to being involved in the initial construction work on the M25 and in 1985 resulted in R&W securing a role to extend the runway at Gatwick Airport. Construction of the M27 between Southampton and Portsmouth followed and today R&W regularly undertakes projects across Hampshire in what is now Highways England’s Area 3 with Kier, along with working on other motorway and trunk roads across southern England and beyond.
Ray’s ethos and management style has always been to go the extra mile and this positive ‘can-do’ attitude is instilled in people throughout the company. His people-focused route to delivery has been evolved over the years into what is now referred to as ‘The R&W Way’ and this is applied to every aspect of the business. Ray has also built a like-minded team around him; always drawing in expertise and individuals that support his vision of being ‘Employer and Contractor of Choice’ which collectively they also share and promote with all clients and companies within the supply chain.
“Ray has been an inspiration and shining light for many years to many people that have worked for him, worked with him or simply come to know him through his reputation,” commented R&W’s MD Andy Theobald. “Despite his drive and enthusiasm, Ray is also an extremely humble and helpful person and can still regularly be seen jumping into a digger to help on-site when and if he can. He is a family oriented man who has tirelessly promoted and supported the highways construction industry, championed new and safer working practices, delivered on expectations, and strived for excellence both in himself but also through his ongoing support of others. For almost fifty years Ray has been an encouraging ‘father’ figure and is a deserving person to be recognised with this lifetime achievement award.”