In 1929 a young man by the name of Joseph Toomey, in true entrepreneurial spirit, opened a new business, Laindon Accumulators, in Laindon, Essex, selling motor cycles. Thus was born the Company which is so well known in Essex, as "Toomeys". From this fledgling enterprise grew the Laindon Holdings Group of Companies.
The benefits of modern technology were becoming available to the man in the street at an affordable price; the "wireless", following the brilliant achievements of Marconi, had become an important part of everyday life, for both information and pleasure.
Motorised transport, which for so long had been a privilege only the affluent of the day could afford, was being made available to the masses, by the production line techniques pioneered by Henry Ford in America. A typical and well-loved example from this era was the Austin 7.
Joseph Toomey saw a new business opportunity - the battery, or as it was then better known the accumulator, was necessary if these two inventions were to be utilised. The name chosen by Mr Toomey Senior for his new business, The National Accumulator Service Station, clearly identified to potential customers the services available, a tradition which has continued to the present day, as the family tree of the Group indicates.
This year saw our entry into the world of finance; it also saw a change in the structure of the businesses operated by our Founder; this operation was to be run by a Company, not by a sole trader. In May, Laindon Credit Services Ltd was incorporated, the oldest member of the Laindon Holdings Group of Companies.
Further expansion and diversification took place; Laindon Sand and Ballast Ltd commenced trading - the choice of name spares the need to explain its activities.
Mr Toomey was no longer a sole trader with a shop; the activities of his businesses now included motor cycle sales and repairs, battery supply and servicing, a filling station, the trading and transport of construction materials and the provision of consumer finance. Albert Gale, our former well-respected Company Secretary, formed his association with the Group in this year. From this relationship evolved Laindon Holdings Ltd, our parent Company, which was incorporated on 11th October 1937.
The events of this important year in our history demonstrate two important group principles; be prepared to diversify in response to market forces and reinforce management structures with the appropriate expertise before embarking on new ventures.
Our motor trade operation was now truly established, a fact which prompted the incorporation in January of that year of J Toomey Motors Ltd, a name which the Group has been proud to have at the forefront of the market place in Essex for over seventy years.
The wartime years, and the period of austerity which followed, had of necessity restricted the Group's activities. However, the British are a resilient race and the world of commerce and industry had waved good-bye to the bad times and was now looking forward to the good times.
J Toomey Motors Ltd proudly announced its appointment as a Vauxhall dealer. The very first vehicle supplied by this newly-appointed dealer was a Vauxhall Fourteen HP, registration no. MHK 100, an occasion vividly recalled by our present Chairman, Michael J Toomey.
The Laindon Holdings Group of Companies continued to flourish; the austerity of the post war years finally ended with the cessation of rationing in the early fifties, manufacturing and construction industries expanded rapidly, and this expansion coupled with the devastation and deprivation caused by the 1939-1945 conflict created the need which resulted in the "New Towns" initiative. Basildon was one such project and the LH Group responded to the opportunities that were created. During this period J Toomey Motors Ltd also acquired the Bedford commercial vehicle franchise.
George Martin (Transport) Ltd was incorporated, a Company set up by Michael J Toomey, our founder's son.
George Martin (Transport) Ltd was renamed George Martin (Laindon) Ltd, as a result of changes in its activities - it had entered the construction industry.
A new era dawned; Michael J Toomey, having established himself as a successful businessman in his own right, acquired a majority share holding in the LH Group of Companies. Ambitious and charismatic, he set about the task of building on the foundations which had been so firmly established over thirty years previously by his father.
As part of a review of Group operations, Laindon Sand and Ballast Ltd was renamed J Toomey Motors (Wickford) Ltd (both companies had car sales and filling stations) and a new Company - J Toomey Motors (Stanford-le-Hope) Ltd was incorporated.
New markets and new opportunities were investigated, and the LH Group moved into contract hire and vehicle rental. J Toomey Motors (Stanford-le-Hope) Ltd was renamed Toomey Hire & Leasing Ltd. Using the trading style "Toomey Rentals" the Company is a leading Essex-based, self-drive hire operator. With a 3 figure fleet of rental vehicles and thousands more supplied to contract hire customers, T H & L is well known in the market place.
George Martin (Laindon) Ltd became part of the LH Group and house building was added to our portfolio of services.
Business format franchising was seen by the Group to offer potential for further expansion and this year saw J Toomey Motors (Wickford) Ltd renamed as Intacab Ltd. The management team were tasked with the development and establishment of a franchise concept. Cygnet Cars Ltd was also incorporated in 1975, as a pilot unit for this embryonic franchise.
Another important year in our history; for forty years the LH Group's activities had been confined to the United Kingdom and it was decided by the Board of Directors that the time was right for us to utilise our expertise and resources in the export field. Consequently Unit Export (Great Britain) Ltd was incorporated.
The pilot for our franchise Cygnet Cars was renamed Basildon Cab & Freight Ltd. A second pilot unit was established fifteen miles from Basildon, operated by a new Group Company, named Chelmsford Cab & Freight Ltd in order to identify closely with its sister Company.
George Martin (Laindon) Ltd was renamed George Martin Ltd. The Group's activities in the field of insurance having grown considerably, Toomey Insurance Brokers Ltd was established as a Company in its own right.
The first independent Intacab franchise was opened.
Chelmsford Cab & Freight Ltd was renamed Leaselink Ltd - this second Intacab unit having become franchised and the Company's activities having therefore changed.
A year of great change; from the High Road, Laindon premises which had been the home of all LH Group Companies for so long, all ten Companies moved into a striking, modern, purpose-built home, state-of-the-art filling station with car wash and three purpose-built jet washes in the new Southfields Development in Basildon. George Martin Ltd had been charged with the task of constructing our new prestigious Group Headquarters. The move to this 60,000 square feet development was carried out smoothly and professionally with little or no effect on any of the Group activities. The planning and physical activities associated with this major undertaking were all carried out by Group employees.
Unit Export (Great Britain) Ltd was renamed Unit Export Ltd. Since its original inception in 1977 Unit Export has worked in over 60 countries supplying a wide range of products to aid funded projects. Working closely with The World Bank in Washington and the European Commission in Brussels, Unit Export are able to satisfy the stringent requirements of the client and ensure safe and efficient deliveries to third World countries.
This is achieved by studying local conditions including regular travel to the beneficiary countries, working with the local partners to ensure clear liaison with the customer in country and an ability to source products on a world-wide basis ensuring that products are supplied at highly competitive prices.
J Toomey Motors Ltd were appointed AWD commercial vehicle distributors and immediately established themselves as a major force in the commercial vehicle market in London and the eastern home counties.
The Group's Board was strengthened by the appointment of new Directors and a sophisticated computer system was introduced throughout the Group.
In January of this year Toomeyfit opened offering a 7am to 11pm drive through tyre, exhaust and M.O.T facility. Toomeyfitenabled the group to move into the lucrative fast fit industry.
On 2nd August 1993 Toomey Nissan opened its doors as the officially appointed Nissan dealership for the Basildon area and is currently flourishing within the group complex.
Toomey Nissan moved from their temporary Show Dome to a one million pound purpose built dealership. Once again this was a George Martin development. So as not to be left behind in the constant changing world of technology, this year saw the installation of a new state of the art computer system throughout the Group.
George Martin started work on a new dealership for the group with a high profile "Guess Who" campaign in January of this year. Toomey Renno Limited was formed in September and on the 5th of September the doors were opened on their 1.5 million turnkey project.
Purchasing Services International Limited was launched in 1997 with a remit to deliver out sourced purchasing services to a limited number of large corporate clients. To achieve this Purchasing Services International relies on leading edge E-Commerce systems to ensure its role as a low cost service provider.
February of this year saw the Bodyshop move to its new 15,000sq ft location with the purchase of Kingston House only 500 yards from Service House. The Group now boasts a new customer friendly Accident Repair Centre.
This year saw Toomeyfit lead the way in the Fast Fit Industry by opening 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
George Martin started construction on a 12,000 sq ft office complex in May of this year, as well as continuing its housing c191onstruction programme at South Woodham Ferrers.
As the millennium approaches the Group joins the Internet Superhighway with the launch of its web site www.toomey.uk.com and E-mail addresses on www.Company Name@toomey.uk.com.
In June of this year Toomey Hire & Leasing acquires the assets, name and premises of the Chester based Skyway Leasing Ltd. By providing the same high level of customer dedication, commitment and service that clearly identifies Toomey Leasing, Toomey Skyway Leasing will fulfil the group's long-held ambition to establish a presence in the lucrative northern counties vehicle contract hire market.
Work started on the £1.2 million refurbishment of the Toomey Vauxhall dealership and a brand new Masterfit Centre, the project being undertaken by George Martin Limited. The newly refurbished dealership was officially opened at the launch night in April 2000.
The year began with Nissan Motors (GB) Ltd awarding the Group the Nissan franchise for Westcliff-on-Sea and surrounding areas. In June 2000 Toomey Nissan (Southend) Ltd commenced trading.
On the 2 October 2000 the Group acquired Warwick Wright Brentwood and the new Company Toomey Pershow (Brentwood) Ltd was born, adding the Peugeot franchise to the Group's portfolio.
The 1st June was the day that New Crown Vehicle Leasing, based in Nottingham, joined the family to promote and extend within the East Midlands the already successful Contract Hire and Leasing facilities of the Group. New Crown Leasing with its long-held family reputation for customer care and satisfaction was seen as ideally complimentary to the Group's existing contract hire and leasing portfolio.
In line with Group policy and in order to retain the family feeling Eurolease Car Contracts Ltd., a family vehicle leasing business in Derby, was acquired in November this year and re-named Toomey Eurolease Ltd, bringing a substantial fleet of leased vehicles into the portfolio and together with Nottingham and Chester is increasing the UK coverage within the Group.
In January 2002 Fleetsave Vehicle Management Services Ltd, a vehicle leasing company based in Birmingham, was acquired from Bristol Street Motors and renamed Toomey Fleetsave Ltd. This acquisition again increases our geographical coverage of the UK and maintains our policy of "small is beautiful" and allows our customers to feel individually cared for.
In September 2002 George Martin Limited, our building company, completed the turnkey project of Toomey Peugeot Basildon, a £2.1 million, 1,400 square metres building oozing new technology and current building techniques. Toomey Pershow Ltd opened its doors to the public during this month, enhancing both the Group and Peugeot product.200
In November 2002 the vehicle rentals division of Toomey Hire & Leasing Co Ltd was given its own identity, Toomey Vehicle Rentals Ltd, and thus separating its operation from THL.
As a result of General Motors purchasing Daewoo from receivership, we were invited by General Motors to take on the Daewoo franchise.
In October 2002 Toomey Westlease Ltd (formerly Allegis Investments Ltd) began its operations at Toomey Eurolease Ltd's offices in Derby. Toomey Westlease moved to its current premises at Marsh Barton Trading Estate, Exeter in January 2004. This added to our existing UK leasing activities in Derby and Chester.
In January 2003, some four weeks after we were approached, our Toomeyfit premises were converted into our Toomey Daewoo dealership with the three-bay hobby wash being converted into a state-of-the-art showroom; allowing us to get up and running to replace the Lakeside void caused by the demise of Daewoo.
Toomey Skyway Ltd moved to prestigious new premises in April 2004 and the company is now based at Marlston House,Bell Meadow Business Park, Pulford, Chester.
In August 2004 J Toomey Motors were appointed as a Saab Dealer further enhancing the vehicle portfolio and moving into the prestige motor car range.
On 1st March 2005 the acquisition of Opticar Ltd, a leasing company in Luton, was completed. Toomey Opticar Ltd are based at Byron House, Luton.
In October 2005 the Group opened a Vauxhall dealership in Southend, Toomey (Southend) Ltd, enabling the Group to represent Vauxhall and Chevrolet along the Thames corridor.
On 1 July 2006 General Motors decided to incorporate the Daewoo brand with Chevrolet and Toomey Daewoo Ltd became Toomey Chevrolay Ltd.
In 2006 the re-badged Daewoo/Chevrolet (Toomey Chevrolay Ltd) was relocated to the Vauxhall showroom at Basildon.
Retirement Apartments – The Laindon Holdings Group lead the way with their first development of a new concept in retirement living called Brimsdown Apartments (www.uniqueretirement.co.uk). In early 2006 George Martin Ltd completed the building of 27 apartments for the Laindon Holdings Group. These retirement apartments are on a life-long lease where the occupiers' only expense is their food and telephone.
In April 2006 the Laindon Holdings Group purchased two Peugeot Dealerships in the Southend area from Currie Motors and Toomey Pershow (Southend) Ltd was formed.
In May 2006 the Laindon Holdings Group purchased a Renault Dealership in the Southend area from Lookers andToomey Renno (Southend) Ltd was formed.
In August 2006 Toomey Midzubishy Ltd opened its doors at Basildon, adding another manufacturer to the Group's portfolio.
The Laindon Holdings Group's Rochford Business Park Project commenced. A state of the art motor village complex is being constructed by George Martin Ltd, completed autumn 2008.
Over seventy five years may have passed and Service House may be in West Mayne and no longer in Laindon High Road. However, the Laindon Holdings Group of Companies is still a family and the customer is still the sole reason for our existence.
This summer saw Toomey Opticar move from Byron House to a new development of modern offices at Capability Green,Luton.
As you can see from the following photographs taken in 2008, the Laindon Holdings Group are constantly updating our image to keep up with the times and to give our customers the best service available.
In April 2008 Laindon Holdings acquire Kent Elms Citroen in Orsett, from then on to be known as Toomey Sitron Ltd. This purchase soon spread and saw Toomey Sitron Ltd sharing premises with Mitsubishi at Basildon and Orsett.
George Martin complete their Gimli Watch development in South Woodham Ferrers, Chelmsford. This development comprised of 13 superbly finished, luxury 4 bedroom family homes.
The new Toomey Automotive Retail Park starts to take form
In October 2008 The Toomey Automotive Retail Park opens the doors for business of its new BP Petrol Forecourt. Its 1683m² Canopy makes it the largest Petrol Filling Station in Europe. It also incorporates a Bakery/Hot food Take-away in the Forecourt Shop.
In December 2008 Toomey Vauxhall (Southend) Ltd, Toomey Renault (Southend) Ltd and Toomey Peugeot (Southend) Ltd move out of their old locations and into their new, purpose built units on The Toomey Automotive Retail Park. December 2008 also sees the closure of Toomey Peugeot (Brentwood) Ltd.
In July 2009 Toomey Nissan (Southend) Ltd join the rest of their Toomey cousins in Southend by moving into The Toomey Automotive Retail Park with Toomey Renault (Southend) Ltd.
In August 2009 the site office of George Martin Ltd at The Toomey Automotive Retail Park relocates to Basildon following the completion of the project.
In August 2010 we began the first full refurbishment of the Petrol Filling Station in Basildon since being built in 1986. This included the replacement of all the pumps, relaying of the forecourt paving, a shop refit, new signage and improved lighting. George Martin completed the project on time and we reopened the new facility for a full service some 8 weeks later.
This year saw significant changes in the structure of the Group as well as the acquisition, through J Toomey Motors Ltd, of the Vauxhall Magnus Dealership – in Brentwood on 9th February 2012. It was privately owned and operated for many years with a strong customer base and excellent reputation in the Brentwood area.
The year began with the group adopting a new parent company as MJT Securities Ltd acquired the remaining shares in Laindon Holdings Ltd to become the Group Parent Company. MJT Securities was already established as a successful investor in investment properties and had from time to time supported the Group in its acquisition activities.
At the same time the many leasing companies that had been acquired over the years and were held in five operating businesses merged to become one, under the banner of Toomey Leasing Group. This brought the operating management team together enabling economies of scale to be gained through a unified purchasing and funding approach.
This year we added diversity to the Group activities with the establishment of LH Fine Foods – a distribution company of various items from Spanish garlics, olives and other appetizers to curry sauces, salad dressings, bottled water and more.
During 2013 the building previously occupied by Mitsubishi was extended, refurbished and rebranded to house the Toomey Citroen Dealership in Basildon.
George Martin completed this refurbishment in September 2013.2013
In 2014 the rebranding of the Vauxhall Magnus site took place involving complete refurbishment of the site to bring it in line with J Toomey Motors Ltd. This was project managed by George Martin Limited and completed in June 2014.2014
2014 also saw the start of a new George Martin housing development in Laindon High Road of 13, two, three and four bedroom homes. This development is expected to be completed in early 2015.
And the story goes on with further new projects in the pipeline for 2015.
In a service industry environment, Companies can only survive and thrive if they apply the highest standards of customer care. The MJT Securities Group of Companies is only too well aware that without its customers it ceases to exist.