2019 is Boleyn’s 60th year, and we have marked it with some special livery on 2 vehicles added to the fleet this year.
Boleyn Recovery has one of, if not, the longest uninterrupted trading history of any London based Breakdown Recovery and Fleet Maintenance Company. Founded in 1959 by Bill Smith after discovering his aptitude for vehicle maintenance and recovery during his National Service with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. Starting at his home, and earning 7 shillings and 6d on his first job, his work ethic and determination drove him forward, and in 1964 he acquired Boleyn Service Station. At this time Boleyn provided support to the Metropolitan Police Traffic for Road Traffic Accident call outs, with one recovery truck and 2 workshop technicians. The business continued to grow and moved to larger premises at 89 River Road and then in 1993 Bill took the gamble of his life and bought 2 ½ acres of land at 77 River Road, Barking, which has remained the company’s main location to this day. In the 70’s Boleyn established itself as trusted supplier to all London’s blue light services, and to this day is proud to say it still supports the Police, Fire and Ambulance Services, whether direct or through their fleet ownership/management suppliers. As the face of transport changed over the years, Boleyn also changed to ensured it continued to deliver a high quality service based on Bill’s 3 principles of – Get it done NOW – WHY are we doing it? Do we have the right equipment and people? – DO IT RIGHT FIRST TIME – to keep the customer happy and downtime to a minimum They say that behind every great man is a great woman, and behind the scenes Bill’s wife Pat took the phone calls at all hour when he was out, did the invoicing, was his secretary to all customers, and still raised their four children. As the company grew and their children got older Bill and Pat’s daughter Michelle joined the business in the 80’s to help her father. Boleyn has always worked to support the owner driver to the big multi-nationals, and tailors the service to suit the needs of the individual customer, which means the team have to be really sharp in remembering the processes for some 700 accounts the Boleyn supports. Boleyn’s fleet continued to grow and it secured contracts to recover London’s bendy buses amongst other things. Around 10 years ago Stephen (Bill’s son) joined the family business, and as Bill reluctantly started to step back (still not fully retired), Michelle and Steve continued to take the business forward. Alongside recovery, Boleyn operates car and commercial workshops, including a Tacho centre, 2 x ATF lanes, LOLER Testing, Car & Van MOT’s and so on using some of the most up to date technology and equipment available. In recent years as the company has grown further the family has brought in some proven industry professionals to assist in the management and operation of the business. During this time Michelle has remained focused on the Boleyn, and Stephen has taking active roles for the benefit of the industry attending All Party Parliamentary Groups, taking the reigns as the Chairman of AVRO and also the Chairman of the ATFOA founded by Boleyn. More recently, the implementation of the ULEZ in London has forced Boleyn to accelerate their fleet replacement plan, meaning that now, not only does the fleet range from a 7.2t Iveco Daily to a 120t 5 axle low loader with three Boniface 8×4 Recoverer Tridents being the flagship vehicles, but that it is also one of the most modern and capable fleets around. Today Boleyn employs around 60 staff operating from our bases in Barking and North Weald, supported by many of you in the industry when we need support away from home patch for our customers, or supporting you if you need help on our home ground. So to all of you that we work with and for, thanks for the support, and hopefully we will be working with you when we celebrate 75 years and then 100. Jim Parker – Director