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wardle and keach about us

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Wardle & Keach has been in operation for over 120 years, beginning in 1890 as a small family firm. Albert Wardle came to Kettering to manage Liptons and soon after, in early 1900, he went into partnership with a local coal haulage owner. Upon the death of the previous owner, Albert began to trade alone and began operating under the name of Messrs A Wardle & Son in 1905. Albert’s son Harold took over from his Father and ran the business independently until the 1920s.

Meanwhile, George Keach moved to Kettering and began to trade in the same business, initially using horse drawn carriages to haul coal before progressing to general haulage in 1912 after the purchase of a few steam traction engines. His business passed to his son Charles and continued to trade independently until the 1920s.

In the following years, Albert Wardle and Charles Keach found themselves more often working in cooperation than competition, until they reached the eventual conclusion that an amalgamation would be highly beneficial. This new partnership of Wardle & Keach operated from its Crown Street premises for many years and developed into a furniture enterprise in addition to coal haulage until the outbreak of war in 1939.

During the war years some of the company’s lorries were commandeered, and Harold’s son, Norman, was conscripted to the RAF. Upon his return, the company was run-down and many of the vehicles returned were run on cannibalised parts and in dire need of repair or replacement. The company then began to rebuild in 1947 with the help of Charles’ nephew Peter. The priority was to obtain new lorries and vans to take war evacuees home to London.

Due to the influx of American service families joining the airmen stations at nearby USAF bases, up to 10 loads of crated furniture between 6 and 12 tonnes each were arriving daily, and storage space was in demand. An empty factory was bought and converted into storage space to deal with this, as well as a fork lift truck to assist with the loading and unloading processes. On behalf of the USAF the firm also began operating as an export business.

In 1985, Norman Wardle retired and his nephew Peter briefly took over before deciding to sell to another local haulage firm. Paul and Sue Henry became the new and final owners of Wardle & Keach in 1986, and continued to work with Peter Wardle as their accountant. Under their management, the expansion was so rapid that a larger site was soon required, and in 1988 they moved to a purpose built warehouse premises. The current site of operation is in Little Houghton and construction of a new warehouse was completed in 1933.

The business has since continued to expand through acquisition of Frost Removals in 1987, William Olivers in 1991 and, most recently, Hillyards. Over the years, the firm has incorporated storage, self-storage, local and international removals and packing materials/packing services. However throughout the years our mission has remained the same: to provide a completely comprehensive service that offers good value for money.

Due to our family origin, we have retained our sense of pride when it comes to forming excellent client relationships, and understand that in addition to the service we provide customer care is extremely important.

Last Updated: 25 May 2017
Wardle & Keach : Removals & Storage in Northampton & Ketteringwardle and keach about us
 

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Wardle & Keach International

Clifford Hill
Little Houghton
Northampton
NN7 1AL
UK

 

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Northampton: 01604 891 133
Kettering: 01536 338 014

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