50 years and counting for a family-owned firm in Haverhill
A family-owned firm in Haverhill that began its life based in a shed is to mark its 50th anniversary with a bumper open day.
Powerdrive Systems, in Hollands Road, which was founded in 1968 by Wally and Geraldine Rolph as a specialist engineering supplier to local companies, will hold the open day on June 8, from 10am to 2pm.
The firm is now run by their sons, Ken and Rob Rolp,h and boasts a massive range of stock that leads to customers deservedly calling it an ‘Aladdins Cave’.
Ken summed up what the firm can offer, saying: “The catchphrase I used to say was ‘we sell nuts and bolts, rivets and grommets, o-rings and grease nipples, power tools and hand-tools. If you need a screw we’ll do the trick for you.”
Wally started the firm off in a customer’s generator shed (which he would turn off to answer the phone) and growth saw moves to Fullers Yard, Helions Gardens, The Pightle, Willow Farm (next to M&M), and finally, in 2008 to their purpose-built premises opposite the allotments on Hollands Road.
Ken and Rob see many of Wally’s original customers still coming back to the firm – despite many of them being well into their retirement age.
The company is a ‘one stop shop’, keeping high quality tools and fasteners, many of which cannot be easily found elsewhere in the country.
Even screws for some classic cars, which are hard to find elsewhere, are stocked.
From security mirrors and cameras, through to a range of safety clothing to fittings that are overlooked by national chain stores, they tailor their stock to local needs.
“If we don’t have a product, we will do our best to source it efficiently and at a competitive price,” said Ken.
“There’s lots of experience in this building.
“Our friendly and knowledgeable team includes Paul, Gavin, Sharon, Gareth, Harvey and Mark.”
Along with bacon and cheese rolls on the open day, there will be free goody bags for the first 50 customers and raffle ticket entry for a massive Ryobi brushless prize, if you spend £100 or more plus vat.
There will be demonstrations of tools from Milwaulkee, Dewalt, Stanley, Fein, Sealey, Starrett, Toughbuilt, Leica, Faithfull, Bahco (SNA tools), Flex, Senco, Teng and Toolbank.
Ken added: “Special prices and deals will be made on the day – haggling is expected!
“All are welcome – if only for a free coffee.”