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Since 1875 Bournes has been making moving and relocation special, personal and easy. Today’s generation of Bournes brings professional expertise, innovative systems and a renowned personal touch to UK and worldwide solutions for both private and corporate customers.
Relocating means upheaval, and that usually means stress, but when someone can make that process easy and even enjoyable then it doesn’t have to be that way.
Our purpose is to support you as you move through life by making relocation easy and allowing you to focus on the things that are important to you.
We help couples move from their first apartment to their forever home where their children will grow up and where they will happily grow old together. When life changes direction and careers or life goals take them on a global adventure we help families make an easy and enjoyable transition to new homes all over the world. We help businesses grow by supporting them in transplanting the skills, culture and knowledge of their global talent pool as well as the physical resources they need to wherever they need them to be to reach their own goals and aspirations.
Relocation is more than just moving people and things, it’s about people and their lives, so whether you are a private customer managing your own move or a Corporate client managing the relocation of your employees, offices or customers - whatever it is you need, we’re here to help.
Find out more about our story and why we want to help you below.
Thomas Bourne starts the business doing general cartage and delivering coal and continues to provide general transport services.
After the Second World War and after Thomas's son died the business was taken over by his grandson, Stanley. In addition to 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.
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.
Stanley handed 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.
Eric's sons Wesley (General Manager) and Leon (Sales Manager), and Roy's son Thomas (Facilities Manager) joined their fathers in the current management team and in leading the company towards the next generation.
Having successfully branched into European Removals Bournes became a founding member of the UTS global 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.
The UTS network formed 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.
Bournes group acquires facilities in Cranleigh, Surrey.
Having diversified as a group with services into both corporate and private markets as well as servicing significant logistics and commercial clients Bournes undergo a major rebrand creating four sub divisions each with a strong image and tailored service. The UniGroup Worldwide UTS network also rebrand as UniGroup Relocation network to reflect the full range of service now provided.
Following the mutally agreed termination of the strategic alliance with US based van line UniGroup toward the end of 2015 the global network of which Bournes are a proud member and co-owner rebrands as Harmony Relocation Network, the new brand being symbolic of our cooperative global network by putting people first in everything we do, for our corporate clients, their transferees and our own employees.
“With Bournes, it’s personal” is more than just a strapline. It’s why we come to work every day, and it's how we feel about every customer and project we work on.
Our company is known for the way it looks after customers. This reputation is built on over 140 years of trust and the passionate team of people that have always believed in Bournes commitment to deliver excellent customer experiences.