Bournes Removals 130 Years ‘On The Move’

Bournes was established in 1875 by Thomas Bourne and now in it’s fourth generation of ownership the company has remained family owned by the Bourne family of Rye, East Sussex.

       Over 130 years of Quality Service

1875 Thomas Bourne starts the business doing general cartage and delivering coal and continues to provide general transport services.

Post 1940’s After the Second World War and after Thomas’s son died the business was taken over by his grandson, Stanley. As well as general transport the business branched into Removals as well as Coach hire and meat deliveries. As the business grew Stanley moved the company into an old brewery, using the main building to provide storage services.

1960’s During the 1960’s Stanley’s sons Eric and Roy joined the company full time, and thanks to the deregulation of the transport industry Bournes took  advantage, buying up many competitors (Nye’s of Bromley, Martins of Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, Knowles of Ashford and Bodkins of Gillingham) and branching out into other markets.

1 9 7 4 S t a nle y hands the running of the business over to his sons and current fourth generation owners Eric and Roy, although he remained in the business for the rest of his working life calling on customers, providing quotes and making sure moves went smoothly.

Over the next few years Bournes moved from the centre of town as their fleet and storage requirements grew, they built three purpose built warehouses and adopted the new ‘containerised’ storage system.

1988 Having outgrown their premises again Bournes purchased a site on a new commercial development outside of the town and built a 26,000 square feet office and warehouse complex, with its own vehicle maintenance workshop and training school. They continued to operate the Rye Auction Galleries from their existing premises, and continue to do so fornightly today.

1992 Having sucessfully branched into European Removals Bournes became a founding member of the UTS network, built on a similar system to the American ‘van line’. This helped to establish Bournes firmly as a leading European Removal Company, securing highly coveted contracts including those for the Ministry of Defence. This helped Bournes to establish a large inter-modal vehicle fleet – one of the first British Companies to do so.

2001 The UTS network forms a strategic alliance with UniGroup Worldwide (the international operating arm of America’s leading removal networks United Vanlines and Mayflower transit) allowing Bournes and the rest of the network to expand its offerings to over 120 countries and 1500 locations throughout the world.

Today Having joined Bournes during the 1990’s Eric’s sons Wesley (General Manager) and Leon (International Manager), and Roy’s son Thomas (Facilities Manager) join their fathers in the current management team and in leading the company towards the next generation, and what looks to be an exciting future.

Rye’s Own January 2013

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