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Home | Our History

Our History

The Doree Bonner International Group has been moving people to places for over a century, but our worldwide business had to start somewhere. Take a wander back in time with us as we uncover the history of Doree Bonner.

It all started in 1929...

The Doree Bonner story begins in 1929, under the name of Bonners Removals of Welling. Based in Kent, Bonners Removals of Welling was a small, family run removals company that offered their services to the local area.

Back in the 1930s, moving house took much longer than the quick turnaround we’re able to offer our customers today. For example, a move from Kent to Cornwall in 1935 would be a full week’s worth of work for the Bonners Removals team. With no motorways, smaller roads, and a top vehicle speed of 30mph it’s easy to see why this might have been the case.

Dorees was a separate company, established as another family run business in 1953. The company was based in Catford, London, which is part of the reason that the black cat logo remains on our vans today.

A key and exciting milestone in the company history was 1989 when Bonners was acquired by Dorees in 1989 and, combining their names, the companies became Doree Bonner, as we are known today. The business relocated to Crayford and was based in a portacabin above a WWII Bren Gun Factory, between a council tip and a landfill site.

In November 1994, Doree Bonner was acquired by Geoff Watson and Gordon Lyall who were previously directors at one of the country’s largest removal companies. At first, the business offered Domestic Removals to the local area, operating from a small warehouse. However, the company quickly became recognised for its exceptional service and International Removals and Office Removals were subsequently added to the portfolio of services. By November 1995, the company reported significantly improved performances and profits.

Over the next thirteen years, CEOs Geoff Watson and Gordon Lyall continued to grow the business organically whilst also acquiring twelve additional businesses nationwide. This paved the way for the formation of The Doree Bonner International Group which quickly became a household name in the removals industry. In 1996, the company was proudly awarded with an ISO 9002 Certification. This was a major achievement for the business, reflecting the high standards maintained by the team across all aspects of service.

The global recession of 2008 halted growth and saw a complete change in direction for Doree Bonner International. With the domestic moving market in decline, the leadership team saw an opportunity and quickly established a Corporate Accounts Department, offering moving services to companies for their employees and customers. This successful change in strategy meant continued employment for our employees during financially uncertain times, and an extended offering to assist new and existing customers with their personal and business relocation needs.

Today, Doree Bonner International operates from nine state of the art facilities across the country, including: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Nottingham, Dunstable, High Wycombe, Bath, Dartford, and Canterbury. These facilities offer in excess on 100,000 square feet of modern containerised storage. Our headquarters, now based in Dartford, is a far cry from our humble beginnings in a portacabin, with over 25,000 square feet of offices, storage, custom bonded areas and state of the art security systems.

Doree Bonner International is proud to serve our customers on a global scale as we continue to bring innovation to the industry. We became the first removals company to launch a pay online ecommerce service to our customers in 2011. Even now, Doree Bonner constantly evolves and innovates to remain on the cutting edge of technology and best practice within the removals and storage industry.

Though the Doree Bonner International Group is a much larger company than when it was established in 1929, our team goes above and beyond to provide that same careful and considerate service offered by Dorees and Bonners Removals of Welling all those years ago.

Our mission statement today is testament to this:

To provide a removals and storage service so admired by our people, business partners and customers that they may recommend us to others with total confidence.

Have you used Doree Bonner International in the past and have any images of our vans or people? If so, we’d love for you to share them with us.