Two estate agency businesses that can chart their history back hundreds of years are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year.
Essex and Suffolk based estate agents and chartered surveyors Fenn Wright marks 250 years of being in business this year.
The firm is one of the oldest established companies in the east of England, having been based in Ipswich since the late 1700s and in Colchester since 1874.
It became Fenn Wright when John Fenn, who was the fifth in succession from a family of land and estate agents, invited George Wright to join in partnership after the First World War. It was at this point that the name Fenn Wright emerged.
During WW2, Fenn Wright employees played their part by manning anti-aircraft guns when doodlebugs were heading towards London. Afterwards the staff would return to their office and resume business as usual.
Alan Williams, managing partner at Fenn Wright, said: “Not many businesses have such an extraordinary and interesting history.
“At Fenn Wright, we recognise that our success is a reflection of our consistent focus on client care and excellent customer service. Our reputation for being a business that people can trust is something that we intend to maintain for the next 250 years.
“While we are proud of the rich history that has formed today’s Fenn Wright, we are equally driven to ensure the business remains as relevant and up-to-date as it ever was. That is why we are expanding both the residential and, more recently, the commercial parts of our business.”
Meanwhile, Fox & Sons, now part of Connells, is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.
The business was founded in 1868 when Queen Victoria was on the throne, William Gladstone beat Benjamin Disraeli in the general election to become Prime Minister, and the Royal Navy built its last ever wooden battleship.
Founded by Anthony Stoddart Fox when he was 38, the business started out as an auctioneer, architect and surveyor who could do “valuations for all purposes”.
Fox & Sons is planning a series of special events to mark the milestone.
The brand now has 57 branches from Cornwall to East Sussex, as well as a property auction centre in Southampton.
It operates within Connells Group’s Sequence arm.
Ian Fry, national operations director at Sequence, said: “We are incredibly proud and excited to be celebrating such a significant anniversary this year and to be a business that continues to flourish.
“In a competitive industry, this represents a real sense of achievement for both our customers and employees and clearly demonstrates the value of our expertise and experience.”