Independent builders merchant Elliotts celebrated its 175th anniversary this week by re-enacting the early days of the business and delivering materials by horse and cart.
Elliotts staff took goods to Southampton builders RH Hammond in traditional style from its headquarters at Millbank Wharf HQ, using an authentic 19th century flatbed dray, pulled by two horses.
The cart was loaded with sand and timber by Elliotts staff, Roger Tarry and Billy Target, dressed as 1800s yardsmen, before departing to make the delivery to Queens Terrace. There, it was received by longstanding customer Richard Hammond, MD of RH Hammond. Like Elliotts, the building firm – founded in 1894 – is still family-owned.
Tom Elliott, Managing Director, and his father Stuart Mason-Elliott, Chairman, dressed in 1840s attire for the occasion, with Stuart even arriving to site on his penny farthing bicycle.
According to familybusinessunited.com, Elliotts is the 111th oldest family-owned business in the world.
“Back in 1842, my ancestor Thomas Elliott ran a very different company,” said Stuart Mason-Elliott. “Our headquarters is still on Millbank Wharf in Northam but we now have 13 branches across the south and nearly 300 staff. We pride ourselves on our old-fashioned customer service and enjoy great relationships with our customers and suppliers.”
Horse and cart was the original delivery method used by Elliotts in Victorian times in Southampton. Today the builders merchant is still owned and run by the Elliotts family and operates a fleet of 54 delivery vehicles across the south.
Looking ahead to the future, Tom Elliott added: “We are proud of our heritage but, at the same time, we always make sure Elliotts is ahead of the game in supplying the latest and best products to our customers. Our range of building supplies is outstanding and we are constantly looking for new innovations for the business.”