Pickfords golf day raises £3,300 for Cancer Research UK!

Thank you to everyone who sponsored and donated to our charity golf day last week; together we raised over £3,300 for Cancer Research UK!

This year’s event was held at Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Hertfordshire, featuring 18 holes across the 7,052 yard course.

Eighteen teams featuring Pickfords employees, clients, partners and suppliers all completed for the coveted 1st place trophy, while individual players bustled for the Nearest the Pin, Longest Drive and Best Player awards.

Click here to visit our Pinterest photo gallery of the event.


Win a WHIZZPOPPING BFG soft toy! [competition now closed]

To celebrate the release of director Steven Spielberg’s THE BFG, in UK cinemas July 22, Pickfords, the official removals partner of The BFG Dream Jar Trail, is offering children the chance to win one of three WHIZZPOPPING BFG soft toys!

Encourage your child to draw their favourite dream and write their name in The BFG’s empty Dream Jar, take a photo of them with the drawing and post it as a Facebook Status on facebook.com/Pickfords or Tweet it to @Pickfords before 31 August 2016.


We’ ll announce the winning entries via Facebook and Twitter on 13 September 2016. The winners will be contacted via direct message so we can post your prize!

To find out more about The BFG Dream Jar Trail and the new film, visit http://www.visitlondon.com/bfg.

© 2016 Storyteller Distribution Co., LLC

Pickfords delivers childhood dreams for The BFG

Pickfords has been appointed the official removals partner for The BFG Dream Jar Trail, a nation-wide event which sees 50 giant ‘dream jar’ sculptures placed across the capital and the UK from 9 July – 31 August to mark Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday and the release of The BFG in UK cinemas on 22 July.

Pickfords will move the 50 dream jars from the 3DEye studios where the designs have been brought to life, to their final locations ahead of the launch of The BFG Dream Jar Trail on 9 July. Visitors and locals will be able to help The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) find his missing jars by visiting “splendiferous” locations such as Trafalgar Square, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, St Paul’s Cathedral, Leicester Square, Tower of London, Glasgow, Manchester Lowry Square and The Hays in Cardiff.

Each giant jar will contain the dreams of celebrities and top artists such as Steven Spielberg, Sophie Dahl, Quentin Blake, Nadiya Hussain of Bake Off fame, Paralympian David Weir, Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams and Arsenal Football Club. They will be auctioned after the trail in aid of Save the Children, as well as Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity.

Pickfords’ Managing Director, Russell Start said: “We are delighted to be involved in The BFG Dream Jar Trail, an event that will inspire visitors to explore London, and most importantly, help raise money for two fantastic childrens’ charities.”

See visitlondon.com/bfg to find out more about The BFG Dream Jar Trail or follow #BFGDreamJars on social media.

Pickfords wins British Government removal contract for a second term

Pickfords is delighted to announce that on Monday 20th June 2016 it was officially confirmed as the appointed contractor to the British Government for overseas removal services. The contract will run concurrently with the existing contract held by Pickfords and commences on 1st September 2016.

The contract covers removal services for numerous British Government Departments who post staff overseas including the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development, British Council and many others.

The team at Pickfords is immensely proud that it has been awarded the contract for a second term and Steve Boyd, Pickfords Government Services Director commented, ‘This award is a reflection of the hard work of the Pickfords Government Services team, the quality of our tender submission and our promise to the British Government to continue to provide value for money at all times ensuring service quality is never compromised’.

Pickfords has already embarked on the implementation program with the British Government and will work with them in the coming weeks to ensure that we align our services with the dynamics of the new contract.

Remembering Ken Cooley

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With great sadness we say farewell to Ken Cooley, Move Manager for Pickfords Business Solutions, who recently passed away following a 10 month battle with cancer.

Ken entered the world of business moving in 1990 as a casual porter for Bullens where his brother Allen also worked.

The wide set of skills he brought to the removals industry were honed in a diverse range of prior roles, from membership of the British Army’s Royal Signals, to pub and nightclub ownership and bread delivery!

For a man with no formal training in the removals industry, his acquired knowledge and resourcefulness were outstanding. He was a wizard with safes, and his ability to walk round a library and add up the move without the need for a calculator was truly amazing!

Since joining Pickfords, Ken managed some of the largest and most prestigious relocations undertaken by the company. His first major job as Move Manager was Norfolk & Norwich Hospital.

Known for his unique turn of phrase, Ken’s colleagues could expect “Five minutes for a slurp”, before they had to “crack on” “up and down the dancers (stairs)” at “ramming speed”!

A tough task master, Ken was well liked and highly respected by all the men he supervised. He would never ask anyone to do something that he wasn’t prepared to do himself, and his commitment to the job was exceptional, working 24 hour shifts to ensure the smooth transition of A&E departments during hospital moves.

Clive Johnson, who worked with Ken on many major hospital moves, recalls that, “Ken was the consummate professional. However difficult things got, Ken always found a way to get the job done and would never let anyone down.”

Ken’s last major job for Pickfords was Coventry University Library where, in a typical display of his ingenuity, he built a platform of euro pallets, complete with safety rail, to enable vans to be loaded via the rear and side doors simultaneously.

Ken leaves behind his adult sons Wayne and James, as well as three grandchildren.

The funeral will be held at Canley Crematorium in Coventry on 6 July.

Moving back to the UK: a repat checklist


Has the sun set on your time abroad? Whatever your reason for returning to the UK, there are a number of things to remember as you prepare. Here’s our handy checklist for UK repatriates:

Get your tax affairs in order:

Update your health records:

  • Register with a UK GP and dentist
  • Notify your medical and travel insurance providers
  • Transfer your GP, dental and other healthcare records to the UK

Sort out your children’s schools:

  • Notify your children’s host schools that they will be leaving
  • Contact your local UK education authority to arrange school places in your home county

Prepare to move home:

  • Arrange to sell or end the lease on your foreign property
  • Arrange for accommodation in the UK
  • Notify your bank, building society, utility companies and local council (for electoral registration) in both your host country and the UK of your new address
  • Arrange to have your mail forwarded to the UK
  • Book your international removal company

If you’re looking to return to the UK, find out about moving with Pickfords, get a quote or contact us on 0800 019 8557 or enquiries@pickfords.com

Culture clash: UK v New Zealand


One of the most popular destinations for UK expats, New Zealand offers a rich multi-culture, low tax rates, slow pace of life, affordable food and fuel, and of course a sub-tropical climate and all the fantastic outdoor views and activities that come with it!

Convinced? Well, as with any new country, settling into New Zealand is contingent on understanding and embracing a different culture. So what are the main differences between UK and New Zealand, and how can expats avoid culture clash?

Outdoor lifestyle
If your idea of a social event is a group Netflix marathon, prepare to be taken out of your comfort zone. Make friends in New Zealand and you may find yourself fishing, sailing, rowing, skiing, surfing, playing rugby, hiking (known locally as ‘tramping’), mountain biking… to name a few possible activities!

How to counter culture clash: Always be open to trying new things, and recognise such activities as the best way to bond with the locals.

Low class consciousness
While the UK is still influenced by the concept of social class, this idea is largely absent in New Zealand. The country is a multicultural melting pot, and locals usually mix across socio-economic groups.

How to counter culture clash: Talk to everyone. We’re all human after all.

Casual dress
Corporate dress code is company and industry dependent, but typically more casual than in the UK. Outside of work, locals wear a lot of black, and tend not to ‘dress up’ for clubbing or parties.

How to counter culture clash: Get advice about dress code before starting your new job. If attending a special event, ask the host, but in many cases casual will be fine.

Casual attitude
New Zealanders’ laid back attitude can be disconcerting, especially in the workplace. Timekeeping especially is not so rigid as in UK business.

How to counter culture clash: Don’t misconstrue a relaxed approach as lack of care.

Local slang
While 96% of New Zealanders speak English, the local tongue includes several phrases that will be lost on the average Brit.

How to counter culture clash: Brush up on common New Zealand phrases before you arrive. If you don’t understand what someone said, just ask, but be prepared to explain your own Britishisms.

With partner offices in 12 key cities, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to New Zealand every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

Office Moving Alliance wins contract to move NATO Headquarters


Office Moving Alliance (OMA) has been appointed to project manage and deliver the relocation of NATO’s Headquarters in Brussels.

Pickfords is the UK member of the Office Moving Alliance, an international network of office moving specialists and they collaborated with fellow members Mondial Movers from The Netherlands and AMT Transfer from France during the formal bid procedure.

The iconic NATO HQ building in Brussels will move to a new purpose built premises across the boulevard from the existing site.  The move is planned to take place in 2017 and will see the relocation of circa 4000 staff.

NATO considered proposals from a number of potential suppliers and followed a rigorous selection process before appointing the OMA consortium to manage the contract.

Russell Start from Pickfords Business Solutions said

“We are delighted to have been appointed following the selection procedure.  NATO will be able to draw on the considerable experience and expertise of our project teams to manage the relocation.  We look forward to working with the NATO management team during the course of the contract.”

Meet Daniel Maples

Meet Daniel Maples. This brave 3-year-old has a rare condition called lamellar ichthyosis, causing his skin to become thickened and cracked.

Daniel’s skin sheds six times faster than normal, leaving a thick build up underneath the top layer.

Daniel’s father, Pickfords Home Moving Consultant Steve Maples, has to smother Daniel in medical jelly every four hours to stop his delicate skin from cracking.

Steve will be taking part in ‘Itchthycyclotron’ next month to raise money for the Ichthyosis Support Group, dedicated to providing support for affected families and funding medical research to help fight the condition.

Please click below to help Steve reach his £500 target and show your support for Daniel and this great charity.

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The 60-year-old promise

When Vivian Curnow was a child, his grandmother would always write in his birthday card “Pickfords to follow with a truckload of gifts”. Grandma Curnow never did contact Pickfords; this was just her wicked sense of humour!

The phrase stayed with Vivian throughout his life. He would often recount the story to his wife, Janet.

Some 60 years later, Vivian decided to find out if Pickfords would deliver on his grandmother’s promise!

Vivian called his local Pickfords branch in Truro, asking if they could surprise his wife Janet on her 68th birthday by delivering a bunch of flowers and a cake.

And as you can see, they were happy to oblige!

Pickfords Birthday Surprise.jpg