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Mr. Robert Douglas Schofield started his local carrier's business in September 1919, shortly after his demobilisation from the Army after World War I. The villages he served were Langham and Boxted and the Mile End district of Colchester. He used a horse-drawn delivery van.

 

 

Village people were glad to use the van for journeys to and from Colchester since, at that time, there was no bus service and the motor car was a rarity.

 

In 1926 Mr. Schofield purchased his first motorised vehicle, a Model T Ford. Among the items he carried were live eels caught at Boxted Mill and sent to Billingsgate Market by train from North Station, Colchester. Rabbits, chickens and ducks were taken to the Poultry Market at Middleborough, together with eggs and other produce from smallholdings and farms in the area. He parked his van at the Bull Yard, at Headgate, and parcels were left there for delivery on his return to the villages. He also brought back from the town supplies of tobacco and other goods from the wholesalers for the village shops, hardware, tools of all descriptions and even on occasion bags of coal.

In 1936 the Ford was replaced by a Morris-Commercial 1-ton van which was used, as before, for general carrying. However, during WWII Mr. Schofield and his van were commandeered for use, as necessary, as a temporary ambulance for the ARP Service. With this larger van Mr. Schofield attended local auctions and private house sales and undertook delivery of items of furniture for the buyers. This custom expanded into the removal of house contents for local farmers and their tenants. 

   

Mr. Robert D. Schofield died in 1949 at the age of 52. From then on the business was run by his widow, Mrs. Violet Schofield and their elder daughter, Peggy. In 1956 the Morris Commercial van was replaced with a 1 1/2 ton Bedford. The business expanded and although essentially acting as a carriers also did much more furniture removing. The purchase of the licence of a former carrier for Alresford and Wivenhoe greatly increased the working area of the firm.

   

When the Schofield's elder son, Robert, completed his National Service in 1954 he became a member of the firm as did their younger son, David, in 1963.

   

By 1960 car ownership had increased with a consequent diminished need for "carrying". At the same time the housing market improved. Peggy Schofield married and withdrew from the business and, with the death of Mrs Violet Schofield, Robert and David formed a partnership. With the purchase of additional vans furniture removing became an important part of the business and, with the housing boom, was very much in demand. This demand has steadily increased to the present day.

   

The firm, now a limited company, has seven pantechnicons which are deployed throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. They also have, for the convenience of customers, a secure furniture depository.

   

With a young, well-trained staff, the family business of R. & D. Schofield Ltd. is looking forward to continuing its success through the new Millennium.

 

 

For more details visit their website www.schofieldremovals.co.uk