Elliotts, the south’s leading independent supplier of building products to the trade and public, went back to its roots and delivered by horse and cart in Southampton on Wednesday 8 November to celebrate 175 years in business.
Staff took goods to city builders RH Hammond in traditional style from Elliotts headquarters in Millbank Wharf, using an authentic 19th century flatbed dray pulled by two horses. This commemorates the original delivery method used when Elliotts was founded in 1842.
Managing Director, Tom Elliott, and his father Stuart Mason-Elliott, who is Chairman, dressed in 1840s attire for the occasion, and Stuart even travelled to work on his penny farthing bicycle. Stuart commented:
“Back in 1842, my ancestor Thomas Elliott ran a very different company. 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.”
The cart was loaded with sand and timber by staff dressed as 1840s yardsmen before departing to make the delivery to Queens Terrace. There, it was received by longstanding customer Richard Hammond, Managing Director of RH Hammond, which was founded in 1894. Like Elliotts, the company is still family-owned.
Elliotts is now run by the sixth generation of the family, Tom Elliott, and is the 112th oldest family business in the world, according to familybusinessunited.com.
Looking ahead to the next 175 years, Tom Elliott said:
“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.”
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.