Founded in 1948 by William (Bill) and Margaret (Madge) Thompson as a simple husband and wife partnership, the business began by hauling agricultural lime, manure, hay, straw and slag (a beneficial fertiliser by-product from steelworks).
Flat-bedded trucks were first used for hauling, with all loading and unloading being done by hand with shovels. In 1948, the first truck cost £494 17s 4d, whereby in contrast a modern Thompson’s truck costs in excess of £140,000.
The business continued to outgrow its premises and in 1987 a purpose-built depot and Head Office was constructed at the Low Prudhoe Industrial Estate, Northumberland. The business continues to operate from these premises today.
The ethos of hard work was embedded into Bill and Madge’s sons, Billy and John. They joined the business full-time as soon as they left school aged 17 and 15 years respectively and were soon driving wagons, spreaders and excavators.
Although Bill and Madge set up the business and gave it a firm footing, it was Billy and John Thompson who really drove the business through the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s to expand from hauliers and suppliers of agricultural products, to a multi-million-pound regional heavyweight.
Today the business is now run by John Thompson and Helen Hillary (the third generation/son and daughter of John Thompson Snr) and are supported by four other directors who are long-standing non-family members of staff: Nick Shilling, Ryan Molloy, Tom Koerner, Chris Dobson and the wider Senior Management Team members.
With a focus on safety, training, and a passionate commitment to long-term local direct employment, rather than short term contracts, or use agency labour, the professional management team of family and non-family members at Thompsons have maintained its reputation for hard-work, value and customer service.
The business has gone from strength to strength over the last few decades and now is firmly established as one of the UK’s leading demolition firms and specialises in high-hazard complex demolition applications such as Petrochemical Plants and Oil & Gas Refineries.