Milestones in The Abels Story

1958
Delivering goods to and from salerooms

1962
The company names itself THE SAFE REMOVAL COMPANY under the management of the Abel Family, father Noel and son Tony.

1971
The removal business is renamed ABELS OF WATTON. Purchase of 81/2 acres of land in Watton Norfolk

1978
Final Stores are built giving a total of 54,000 sq ft for storage on the Watton Site

Abels move into Distribution of new furniture with local furniture manufacturer Beresford & Hicks.

1979
The Young Drivers scheme starts with Abels having licence numbers one and two on this National Transport Training Scheme. Up to 12 youngsters per annum were on this scheme with Abels for many years.

1980
Now with over 20 vehicles the company employs a General Manager who asks ‘where are you going with the business?’

1981
The first branch is opened in Huntingdon by the purchase of Elphicks

Abels is proud to move all the wedding presents for Prince Charles and Princess Diana

1982
Company buys removal business of Percy Wigg, Lowestoft.

1984
Start Crown Suppliers contract for Government, distributing office furniture nationwide from Milton Industrial Estate Abingdon

April saw the launch of a London presence in a 15,000 sq ft facility at St Albans

Introduced the first Plain English Trading Conditions in the industry.

A new purpose built facility is completed in Huntingdon 18,000 sq ft, old premises vacated.

1986
January acquire Fahies of Colchester with warehouse, vehicles and staff. Recruit branch manager.

1987
February 1987, 439 days of attitude, motivation and customer care training commences for all staff

New warehouse with mobile racking opens in May. 40 ft high racking 700 modules, four high, a maximum of 1,000 tonnes of weight can be moved at three mph.

Marks & Spencer contract starts delivering 100 pieces of Peter Black (Jentique) furniture per month.

1988
Phase two of mobile racking transit store completed, an extra 18,000 sq ft. Total now 33,000sq ft

August sees Abels win the NatWest furniture distribution contract at Waltham Cross.

Awarded The Royal Warrant to HM the Queen.

1989
January Brandon opens providing an additional 35,000 sq ft of warehouses and 4,000 sq ft office space.

1990
Carpet fitting service is started for Marks & Spencer.

1991
Hays group successfully negotiate the purchase of Abels as winners out of four companies bidding.

Business split into three:

Retail and home delivery (branded Hays) merged with similar Hays business under Abels CEO Robert Crosthwaite
Removals (branded Abels) under Abels CEO Philip Pertoldi
New office furniture and installation (branded Bucks later changed to Hays also) under Hays CEO

1992
Robert Crosthwaite leaves to set up his own business.

1993
Abels joins UTS as a shareholder. Later Philip Pertoldi becomes chairman of the UK Company

1994
Abels Moving Services attains BS EN ISO 9001.

Major £1million contract signed with Philips Radio Communications.

1995
Investors in People awarded

1996
Major contract signed with Dupont for crating and export services

1998
MBO/MBI took place with Philip Pertoldi, Robert Crosthwaite and John Guilford

1999
Undertook major hotel refurbishment projects for Hypnos furniture manufacturers and Whitbread Hotels.

2001
Review of corporate identity started with Zulver & Co, along with the appointment of Chelgate as PR managers and The Marketplace as advertising agency.

2002
New PR, advertising and creative strategies agreed and implimented to reinforce Abels position in is markets.

2003
Gained new home delivery contracts with The John Lewis Partnership and Wesley Barrell.

Long serving training instructor David Neale, voted a ‘National Treasure’ by Country Life magazine, retires after 28 years with Abels.

2004
Group managing director, Philip Pertoldi, becomes the new president of the Sandringham Association of Royal Warrant Holders at the AGM specially held in Holland to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Association.

Abels takes delivery of a new pantechnicon with two swap bodies for new furniture deliveries.

Abels achieves FIDI FAIM accreditation, providing our customers with the reassurance that they are in safe hands.

2005
HRH The Duke of York opens our new 30,000 sq ft distribution centre in Ely.

Abels moves Concorde engine and undercarriage to El Paso, USA.

2006
Neil Pertoldi is appointed general manager of our International Division and John Watson is promoted to managing director of UK Services.

Abels move a Spitfire to the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.

Abels are the silent stars in the new TV series of 60 Minute Makeover hosted by Claire Sweeney.

FIDI FAIM accreditation renewed.

2007
Long serving Bernard Maddock retires after 40 years in the removals business, half of which has been spent with Abels.

Abels again accredited with A Grade financial status by IMMI assuring those customers moving overseas that they are dealing with a company who has the financial stability to complete the contract.

Abels re-accredited by BSi with ISO 9001:2000, a standard which it has held since 1993.

2008
Investors in People accreditation renewed.

Abels takes delivery of a new road train, a van and trailer providing 103 cubic meters of space for our ever increasing European trips plus another vehicle specially designed to conform to exacting vehicle size regulations for shipments to the Channel Islands.

Abels receives a Certificate of Registration under the Control of Pollution from the Environmental Agency for controlled waste

Michael Gerson Ltd, one of the UK’s leading international moving and storage companies, is acquired by ICM Kungsholms of Sweden and Abels Moving Services Ltd.

Buckingham Palace confirms that the Royal Warrant originally awarded to Abels in 1989 has again been extended.

2009
Peter Frake, Senior Driver, retires after 49 years in removals with Elphicks (acquired in 1981) and Abels.

Abels achieves ISO 9001:2008 accreditation after thorough BSi audit.
 
Abels selected by Persimmon Homes as its remover of choice for all new home buyers in East Anglia.

Abels celebrates commitment and service as six office staff and six crew members achieve long service awards for between 10 and 30 years.