A FAMILY is celebrating after a removal company set up by a husband and wife team reached its 50th birthday.

Britannia Moovit was launched by John and Christine Wicks in 1968 and has been based in Braintree ever since, carrying out about 60,000 removals.

Son Tom is now the managing director supported by ten other members of his family, including sister Jo Jopson.

Tom, who joined the business in 1995, said: “It’s quite rare for a business to reach 50 years – I think the average for a new start-up local business is around seven years.

“We’re very proud of it. It’s not been without its ups and downs and a lot of hard work, but it’s a fantastic achievement.

“I would say the trickiest points were probably the two recessions in the early Nineties and 2007."

The company quickly grew from having one van and using a shed for an office to buying established firm W Harris of Chelmsford in 1970.

The business soon moved from the shed in Notley Road to Ridleys Maltings, in Lakes Road, where it stayed until 1986 when then moved to its present site at Driberg Way.

The company held a surprise party last week for John and Christine.

Tom said: “They were thrilled to bits – I think they were a bit dumbstruck.

“It was really fantastic because we had all sorts of people come along who they hadn’t seen for years which was brilliant.

“Dad still likes to come in a few days a week just to stay in the zone and to keep up with what’s going on.”