Pickfords supports relocation project for Glenfield Hospital

Pickfords was contracted earlier this year by Leicester NHS Hospitals Trust to handle the relocation of the Respiratory Medicine departmental laboratory at Glenfield Hospital to its new home at the Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit.


The Respiratory Specialties, Clinical Immunology and Allergy Business Unit at Glenfield Hospital provides specialised services for investigation and treatment of patients with respiratory conditions from Leicestershire, Rutland and the surrounding areas.  The Department has developed rapidly over the last decade and is the only respiratory facility for the 1m people living in the district served.

With a complex move planned involving relocation to the second floor of the new building, Pickfords Business Solutions was asked to develop a bespoke solution to move equipment including fume cabinets, glass-lined sample cabinets, and ten freezers and fridges weighing up to 400kg each. These last units could not be transported via the stairs owing to their size, so the team constructed a specialised external scaffold and crane to deliver them to the second floor.


The move itself was handled in two phases with the fridges and freezers removed and sited in the new facility, allowing clinical staff to transport samples to the new site promptly. The remainder of the equipment was transferred by the Pickfords team people and sited according to a newly-developed floor plan, maximising space and efficiencies in the new site.

Pickfords voted in the Top Ten Best International Movers

Pickfords has been voted in the Top Ten International Movers by Which Offshore, an independent online consumer resource for those seeking information and advice about expatriate life and offshore finance.

Top Ten International Movers

The team at Which Offshore tested more than 70 UK-based removal companies by rating the information available on their website, online customer reviews, ease of contact, helpfulness of staff, the time taken to respond to an enquiry and the quoted price. Each company was asked to quote for a family of 4 (two adults, two kids) moving a total of 1,000 cubic ft of contents from a 2 bedroom flat in London, to a flat in Barcelona, with no elevators available at either location.

If you’re thinking about moving overseas, here are some useful tips to make the process that little bit easier…

Choose the type of service
It is important to know the difference between part and dedicated loads. Part load removals are cheaper, as furniture is shipped at the same time as someone else relocating. Although it might take a little longer, as the companies try to coordinate shipments to the same destination. If you prefer it to happen faster, a dedicated removal might be the better option.

Packing and Insurance
As many of the removal companies point out, packing itself doesn’t affect the quote as much contrary to what many people believe. You can save up a few pounds by putting everything in boxes yourself and only having the removal company pick it up, but you may miss out on insurance coverage.

Plan ahead
Make sure you have every detail such as date, time of arrival arranged with the removal company beforehand. Packing always takes longer than you think it will. It is only when you start putting things in boxes that you realize how much you have gathered over time. Plan to pack well in advance, and give yourself extra time, just in case.

Decide what to take
We all know that we keep a lot of things for sentimental value, nostalgia or just because you ‘could use it one day’. Take some time to really consider whether it is worth taking with you, or if it might be time to bring it to a relatives’ garage for safe-keeping. If there was a time to have a clean out, it’s now.

Make an inventory
When the time comes to move, it is easy to lose sight of everything you are taking with you. Especially if you’re leaving items behind or storing them, create a list of what’s where for future reference.

Visit the Pickfords website for more information on moving overseas.

Moving a car overseas – what you need to know

One of the most common questions we are asked by people moving overseas is ‘can I take my car with me?’

Since cars are, behind houses, normally the second largest purchase we make it is understandable that you will want to hold onto it where possible. In some cases it is worthwhile, especially in countries where vehicles are more expensive and the process of importing it is not too arduous, but getting a car into certain countries is considerably harder than others.


The most common way of shipping a car is to use a shipping container. The container will be brought to your home, the car loaded and secured to prevent movement during transit, and this will then travel on a cargo ship and be unloaded at a port in your destination country for you to collect. On payment of the appropriate importation duties and Customs fees, and possibly after a quarantine period depending on country, the vehicle can then be driven away.

In many cases people are moving lock, stock and barrel to another country and so will be taking other domestic goods along with their car. Pickfords provides a service to outfit a container with shelving which maximises the space available inside, protecting both your car and the items being transported. There’s a handy photo album showing this on our Facebook page – check it out at http://www.facebook.com/pickfords.

If you’re exporting a car from the UK, there are a number of stages you need to go through. Firstly, if you’re moving your car out of the UK permanently (or for longer than 12 months) you must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and return a completed ‘Notification of Permanent Export’ section from your V5C.

We strongly recommend that your car is cleaned thoroughly inside and out ahead of shipment. For transportation to Australia or New Zealand this is particularly important, as your vehicle will be subject to strict quarantine inspections when it arrives and could undergo additional cleaning (at your expense) if the authorities deem it necessary.

The requirements for shipping cars abroad vary by country, and Pickfords can provide you with the latest information with regard to the appropriate importation permits. In some instances, you may only import your car if you have owned it for at least twelve months, and there may also be a requirement to pass local compliance tests (similar to an MOT in the United Kingdom) before being legally allowed to drive it in the destination country. Customs will need to clear the vehicle and there will likely be duties and taxes to be paid before the vehicle is released. During this time the vehicle will remain in port or at an agent’s warehouse.

In summary, shipping your car can be worthwhile, but it depends hugely on where you want to take it. We highly recommend gaining professional advice on shipping a car overseas as early as possible – it is a complicated process and very costly if your car travels without the correct paperwork to support it. Pickfords moves hundreds of cars across the world every year, so our Move Consultants are well-placed to answer your questions. To get in touch with your nearest branch and find out more, just visit the Pickfords website at http://www.pickfords.co.uk.

How to choose a removals company

Moving house is a massive event and it’s crucial to get the right removals company to help you. As the old saying goes, not all removal companies are the same and there’s plenty of choice out there in the market, so here are a couple of pointers to help you decide.

Moving DayTake a recommendation
Word of mouth recommendations are a great way to find a reliable removals company. You can also look at social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to see how frequently each company engages with its customers and how they handle queries or issues raised via these sites.

Getting in touch
A reputable removals firm will give you as many options as possible to get in touch, hinting at a business that has the resources to handle you professionally. If the only contact information you can find on their website is a mobile number, think twice about making the call.

What insurance do they offer?
Any handling of goods is a risky business so household effects are at risk during a home move. Different removals companies offer different cover, so it is worth taking some time to understand the difference, as not all removals insurance is the same.

Do you have valuable or, fragile items?
We all have something that is particularly special to us, so check to see how your moving company handles fragile and valuable items. Most professional companies will use different packing materials to protect unusual items and may use export packing or crating to protect the goods.

Do their customers back up their claims?
Positive endorsements of a product or service are one of the strongest factors in making a decision to buy, so when doing your research pay attention to what people say about them.

How do they approach security?
There aren’t many occasions when you freely welcome complete strangers into your home so you should feel comfortable that they are well-trained, professional and above all, trustworthy. Check to see whether their staff are CRB-checked – this is a process administered by the Criminal Records Bureau, a government agency, and ensures that businesses are aware of any convictions held by prospective new recruits.

Do they have quality standards?
Many removal companies use quality management systems as a management tool to ensure they deliver consistent service. Check to see if the company has a formal approach to managing quality, or carries a quality accreditation to help them maintain their quality standards

What is their approach to the environment?
Dealing with a company that is sympathetic to the environment should not cost you any more. Check to see that the company recycles packing materials and timber and has a system in place to ensure its business does not impact its local community.

This post was taken from the Moving Advice Centre on www.pickfords.com. To read more useful hints and tips around the moving process, just click here.

Pickfords moves the Mansell collection

Pickfords recently completed a high-profile move for motor racing legend Nigel Mansell, relocating his collection of sports memorabilia from Exeter to a new home on the island of Jersey.

The Mansell collection includes two of Nigel’s iconic Formula One racing cars, the 1989 Ferrari 640, driven to victory on Nigel’s Ferrari debut in Jacarepaguá, Brazil, and the Williams FW14B with which Mansell dominated the 1992 season, winning nine of 16 races and the Formula One Driver’s Championship.

The move, totalling six racing cars and several hundred cubic feet of other items including racing overalls, helmets, trophies and other precious memorabilia, was handled by Pickfords’ Exeter branch. The team spent several days packing up the Collection to ensure it would be protected during transit, and unpacked everything in the new Mansell Collection building in Jersey.

“We were delighted to be selected by The Mansell Collection to move Nigel’s priceless collection of memorabilia from his racing career,” said Pickfords Director of Business Solutions Mark Herrington. “Our team brought our considerable expertise in moving high-value, precious and fragile items to bear, with Nigel’s Formula One cars alone valued at more than £1m each.”

Would you like to take part in a new television programme?

Pickfords is helping TV production company TwoFour to find individuals and families who have goods in store and would be interested in taking part in a new programme to be broadcast on ITV1.

They are looking for: 

  • Couples/families with items in storage that are no longer needed or have been inherited
  • Individuals who store belongings that are not welcome in the house
  • Long-standing collectors with no space left in their home
  • Or people who just can’t let go of their stuff because it has sentimental value and currently doesn’t have a place in the home

Experts will help storers to sort through their goods in store and  help them decide whether to “keep it” “skip it” or “sell it”.
More information can be found on the Pickfords website.

If any readers of our blog would like to take part,  contact TwoFour direct on storageshow@twofour.co.uk



Has the identity of Jack the Ripper been revealed?

An interesting reference to Pickfords’ long history can be found in the Telegraph this week.

The world has speculated on the identity of the notorious murderer, Jack the Ripper for over 100 years. The perpetrator of the grizzly murders in London’s east end at the end of the century, was never caught. On the 100 year anniversary of the first murder, authors Christer Holmgren and Edward Stow have put forward the theory that Jack could have been a cart man, (a modern day driver or porter or removals man) who was found at the scene of the first murder. It is noted in the official evidence that the cart man, Charles Cross was on his way to Pickfords’ depot in Broad Street at about 3am, when he found the mutilated body of Polly Nichols – so he could have worked for Pickfords at the time. ( Branches must have opened later in those days!). Although found at the scene, Cross did not seem to come under much interrogation from the police at the time, though it is noted be provided a false name.

An interesting theory, though there have been many suggestions for the culprit over the last one hundred years including Prince Albert Victor, the grandson of Queen Victoria, and Sir William Gull, the Queen’s doctor.

A fascinating article below


Pickfords to keep London moving during the Olympics

Pickfords reveals plan to keep London moving home
 during the Olympic Games 

Pickfords, the UK’s largest removals and storage company,  has unveiled its plans to keep London moving during London 2012. 

The Olympic Games will affect both home movers and businesses between 27th July and 9th September as the transport system in London will be impacted by the Olympic event.   Road systems will change, priority ‘Olympic’ lanes will be added, some roads will close and, with an influx of visitors to London, parking spaces will be in short supply. 

Pickfords has set up a team to investigate the possible impacts and to create a plan to overcome the problems created in the London transport system.  The plan will include a range of tactics including:  identifying the hot spots and affected postcodes early in the process, daily syndication of traffic reports between Pickfords branches,   liaising with street party organisers, working in the evening and during the night and using a shuttle service to transport its customers’ goods. 

Operations Director Mark Taylor said, “Our highest priority is to ensure our customers’ moves go smoothly in London this summer, so we will be liaising closely with Transport for London, the London Organising Committee for the Games and the London Boroughs to ensure we take every action necessary to overcome the challenges.” 

“If our customers are planning to move during the Olympic weeks, particularly the gap between the Games, we urge them to contact us as soon as possible so we can make the necessary checks and arrangements.’

Call your local branch on 0800 019 8557

You can see more detail on the plans in the Olympic corner of the Pickfords website on www.pickfords.co.uk/olympics

Six year old Robin designs Pickfords’ corporate Christmas card

This year’s Pickfords corporate Christmas card was the result of an idea to raise money for the NSPCC.   Pickfords employees Richard Summers and Mike Weatherburn came up with the idea to create a ‘Design our Christmas card Competition’. As a governor of St Georges School in Amersham, Mike took the idea to the Head teacher Toby Long who made the arrangements to create a fun competition for all the pupils, aged between three and seven years old.

One hundred and forty pupils took part and a winner and three runner ups were chosen.   The winner was six year old Robin Lawrence.

Robin Lawrence Winner of Pickfords' competition

Pickfords spokesperson Lyndsey Daykin said, “The competition standard was high and it was very difficult to choose a winner.  In the end, we felt Robin’s design captured so many elements of Christmas and ultimately made us all smile.  Congratulations to Robin and all the pupils that took part”

Robin’s design will be turned into a digital Christmas card to be sent to Pickfords customers and clients this Christmas.  Pickfords will make a donation to the NSPCC for every card sent, as part of its fund raising activities for its principal charity.

Gerry Lightfoot and Gareth Norval from Pickfords Removals Milton Keynes win customer service award!

Pickfords celebrates excellent customer service by recognizing and rewarding its removals teams and move co-ordinators in the monthly Pickfords ‘Moving with Quality’ awards. 

Milton Keynes removal men Gerry Lightfoot and Gareth Norval took the move team standard ‘being flexible’ to the very limit when they undertook a backload from Tyneside in October  The customer was an 87 year old lady who was moving down to Gloucestershire to live near her daughter. 

Everything didn’t go to plan, and there were problems with the house sale at the property she was moving into. Alarm bells started ringing at 3pm when the crew and the customer were waiting at the delivery address with no keys.   

The news arrived that there was a problem with the paperwork at the solicitors.  Back at Milton Keynes branch, the operational team anticipated the worst and began to create a contingency plan by arranging for the goods to come into store.  

Meanwhile Gerry and Gareth were comforting the customer, who was very stressed by the events as they were unfolding. 

They stressed to their operator that they did not want to leave her as she was getting very upset. At about 5.30pm the final papers were signed with the solicitors so the customer could collect the keys. 

The move therefore took much later than anticipated and despite an 86 mile journey back to base later that evening,  they both had no qualms about staying and delivering the items to ensure that customer was settled that night.

The comments from the customer were: “Your removals crew were magnificent in the face of stress and solicitor induced near disaster.  Without their co-operation and good humour this would have been a disaster. Three cheers and well done!”

 Congratulates to Gerry Lightfoot and Gareth Norval who demonstrated that they are great examples of Moving with Quality standards