Once upon a time, way back in 1921, North London Plant Hire was founded as A.S. Bines Ltd., a window-cleaning business. From a four-story Victorian house, it served many of London’s largest buildings.
World War II required some diversification; as Director Paul Huckstep put it, “there weren’t many windows left to clean”.
They started hiring their ladders out and the company has expanded throughout several generations, hire subindustries, and new depots.
According to Paul, COVID restrictions altered NLPH’s initial plans to attend a trade show in Las Vegas and visit the Grand Canyon with their team; an alternate plan to celebrate with friends and family on the Thames this summer has replaced it.
Over 100 years, a business sees so many customers it’s impossible to keep track of all of them. NLPH has forged such strong customer loyalty that even thieves returned to the store to get items they stole repaired. They’ve even had a customer who enjoyed forklifts more than they’d previously thought possible.
Those instances aside, the team’s passion for helping customers solve their problems and take care of their projects has helped (along with their software, Syrinx, as Paul helpfully adds) NLPH thrive in an increasingly complex industry.
“I guess I’d describe us as a family-run business with a good service and work ethic,” Paul summarised.
Smiths Hire are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year! They’re growing in 2021, adding 3-4 depots in the first half of the year, allowing them to pursue their favorite part of the business – satisfying their customers with quality equipment and excellent service. Toga Hire Centres are celebrating 50 years in the London area as well.