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Croydon transport firm PF Whitehead celebrates 50 years in business

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A TRANSPORT company is celebrating its 50th birthday this year, having gone from a single van in 1963 to a 60-vehicle fleet today.

Starting off as a one-man business, chief executive Peter Whitehead bought a van and founded P F Whitehead, a transportation logistic provider, all on his own in May 1963.

And although he always had high hopes, he is still surprised at where they have ended up today, with more than 100 employees, 60 vans and "hopefully another 50 years".

Mr Whitehead, who now runs the company with his son Peter and brother Richard, told the Advertiser: "We are now one of the largest and most respected transportation providers in the UK, but it hasn't all been easy sailing.

"The last few years have been hard for everyone and Croydon has had its up and downs as well. To be successful we've had to stay on our toes, but working in Croydon has been good for us and pretty much all of our employees are from the local area."

The business is now based in Coomber Way, but started off in Leatherhead, before moving to Croydon when they began to expand in 1969.

Many of the drivers have been with the company for more than 20 years, and lorries range from one-tonne vans to 44-tonne articulated trucks, which means they cover all aspects of transport services, from retail to manufacturing.

Mr Whitehead said: "It started out as just me and a lorry and then, by the end of the 1960s, it was 30 vans, and I was needed more in the office so I left that side of it.

"It's definitely been a busy and exciting few years.

"My son is now managing director and my brother is head of storage; he joined me in 1966.

"We are definitely family-orientated and we wanted to make sure we looked after our employees. Now I'm hoping my little grandson will join too, and that we can go on for another 50 years.

"Being based in Croydon has been great for us and the locals are good hard workers; I have a great workforce.

"Croydon has really changed over the years. At first it was hard, then there was a boom, and now it has got harder again, so we as a company have had to change with it.

"But overall it's been great, and hopefully will continue being so for a long time yet."

Croydon transport firm PF Whitehead celebrates 50 years in business


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