Hughes Electrical 100th anniversary tour makes first Suffolk stop in Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk electrical company Hughes is marking 100 years of business, with its celebratory vintage van tour having made its first stop in the county today.
Hughes was founded in Lowestoft in 1921 by First World War hero Frank Hughes, who trained as an engineer when he returned to Suffolk after serving on the western front.
Frank bought his first shop in 1928 and expanded beyond the coastal town in the 1950s, opening stores throughout Suffolk and surrounding counties.
The company is celebrating its anniversary by visiting their 32 store locations, including those in Ipswich, Felixstowe, Beccles, and Stowmarket, in a renovated 1950s Bedford van, fitted with their original branding.
The anniversary tour kicked off in North Walsham, Norfolk, last week, with the vintage van having already paid visits to Dereham and Norwich.
Today, the van is on Bury St Edmunds' Cornhill, where passersby have the opportunity to see inside the van and win various prizes.
Andy Yellop, manager of the Bury store, said: "It is a bit of good-will. We are family run and are still here, and it is all about celebrating that.
"I have been with the company for 39 years, so it says that we are really proud of working for them."
After a difficult 18 months, Andy added that he was proud to be part of the celebrations.
"We feel very proud being a company that can actually put their hands up and say that they are still trading," he said.
"Just talking to people in the street is nice as well, and it is just another part of the gesture."
Robert Hughes, chairman, added: "While the business is unrecognisable from the one my grandfather founded, two things have remained constant; our focus on customer service and family ownership.
“We genuinely try to put people first, be it customers, colleagues or suppliers. We also try to uphold family values in how we deal with people as their loyalty has helped us reach this landmark.”
The centenary tour is due to finish in October, with the full list of locations and dates below:
12th August – North Walsham
13th August – Dereham
14th August – Norwich
20th August – Bury St Edmunds
21st August – Ely
22nd August – Martlesham
25th August – Ipswich
27th August – Clacton
28th August – Stowmarket
31st August – Spalding
2nd September – Fakenham
3rd September – Wisbech
4th September – Hunstanton
11th September – Felixstowe
12th September – Rayleigh
18th September – Colchester
22nd September – Great Yarmouth
23rd September – Beccles
24th September – Halesworth
25th September – Lowestoft
28th September – Wymondham
2nd October – Swaffham
9th October – Diss