In the early seventies Roy Humphrey purchased a village garage in Yaxley near Eye. Looking back now to have seen the small garage and filling station evolve into a 42 acre site employing in excess of 100 staff, it has been a remarkable story. As with many small businesses, in the early days all the office duties (and more!) were left to Mrs Humphrey whilst the 16 hour days and single minded approach by the founder saw the business expand. Day or night if your car was broken down or 'in the ditch' then the locals knew the number to call or more often than not knew which door or bedroom window to knock on, no matter what the hour!
It was not long before car mechanics and repairs were complemented with body repairs, recovery trucks, windscreens and car hire. We still meet people today who had a vinyl roof fitted to their Ford Capri or Cortina all those years ago.
At some point amongst all this the bungalow the family lived in was turned into the stores, offices, paint mixing centre and a car showroom!
Next on the 'to do' list was vans and truck / trailers. The eighties saw commercial workshops built and extended on no less than three occasions as commercial maintenance and paintwork / body repairs were joined by mobile phone supply , van, truck and trailer rentals. Then of course heavy duty 'wreckers' and recovery trucks were required, along with a crane!
Eventually the small village garage, along with the numerous extensions, were bulging at the seams and the Yaxley site was added to with the purchase of a first building adjacent to the A 140 at Eye. This was the start of a separate business, trading as RH Bodyworks, to handle all the car and commercial accident repairs, refurbishments and paintwork.
In the early nineties the Yaxley site was vacated and Roy Humphrey (Car & Commercial) moved to the Eye site with the building of the imaginatively named 'building two'. RH Bodyworks expanded into building three and a new part of the business was formed with RHsignright formed to cope with the demand for vehicle graphics and signs.
With the footings now in for 'building six' the past fifteen years has seen rapid expansion with the Eye site situated in a 42 acre site. Based at The Humphrey Group site are Roy Humphrey (Car & Commercial) RH Bodyworks, RHsignright, Carl AR Humphrey Communications and Roy Humphrey Vargas.
With the purchase of a new site across the Norfolk / Suffolk border in the market town of Diss, the two businesses owned and managed by Carl AR Humphrey will have a second presence. This gives us the opportunity to rename the communications business VARGAS communications and this will be joined at the Diss site by Roy Humphrey Vargas. With the heated car showroom at Eye more suited to the 'prestige' marques, the Diss site will be mostly £20,000 and below.
Almost 40 years of motoring heritage, impossible to cover in just a few words, so we hope that we have given you a feel for The Humphrey Group. If you need any more information please feel free to call us at any time or look out for the book.