FROM THE BARCHIVE
A few more fragments from the Association’s archives at Watford provide another glimpse into the
removals trade of days gone by and the foundations on which today’s industry has been built.
120 yea r s of profes sion a l mov i n g
In trying times it is important to remember the founding principles of this Association, which was set up by a
visionary band of managers and contractors in May 1900 to promote the removals and storage trade and to protect
its interests. The following ‘Objects of the Association’, which were published in its very first yearbook, set out the
roadmap that the Association would advance, evolve and expand over the next 120 years into the present. The aims
of the Furniture Warehousemen and Removers’ Association (FWRA), as it was then called, were:
1. To bring together in conference all firms engaged throughout the British Empire in the removal and storage of
household effects, and to promote confidence among members.
2. To advance the interests of the removal and warehousing trades in all matters relating thereto.
3. To aid members in resisting unjust claims.
4. To maintain uniform conditions in regard to warehousing and removal of household goods,
and thus establish ‘customs of the trade’, a matter of great importance in legal cases.
5. To foster legislation in matters favourable to the trade, or to oppose unfavourable measures.
6. To ensure unity of attitude towards insurance, railway, shipping or other companies,
particularly in regard to rates, charges, rebates, conditions of carriage, damage, etc.
7. To assist members by the registration of employees for vacant situations.
8. To warn members against:
a. Undesirable customers
b. Dishonest, unsatisfactory or incompetent employees.
We are glad that even during 80 days of intense
bombardment during June, July and August 1944 it
was possible to continue the publication of Removals
& Storage, which has been of great help to members.
R&S May 1945
We regret the late appearance of Removals & Storage this
month, which has been occasioned by restrictions on the
use of electricity.
The FWRA was also the first organisation in the
history of the trade to establish professional
standards for removing and warehousing. One of
its training initiatives was a certification scheme for
surveyors comprising a theory and practical exam
that accredited the successful candidate as being
“efficient in their profession”. They would also be
awarded a beautiful Estimators’ Certificate (pictured
above), complete with ornate bordering and flowing
lettering. These certificates do justice to the skill of
the profession and would have proudly lined the
Indomitable spirit in wa rti me
26 Removals & Storage June 2020
walls of many a removal office in the early years of
the 20th century.
Another of the FWRA’s innovative schemes was the
establishment of a dedicated industry charity, called
the Removers’ Benevolent Fund. We know this today
as the Removers Benevolent Association (RBA),
which over the course of a century has provided
generations of removers and their families with
financial support in times of need. It is, as this advert
from a 1960s issue of R&S declares, a benefit of BAR
Membership that is absolutely worth shouting about.
The word ‘unprecedented’ is enjoying unprecedented
popularity, although the current circumstances are by
no means the first time in history that the removals
industry has battled through times of hardship. R&S,
the BAR’s flagship publication, has had to overcome
its fair share of difficulty reaching doorsteps across
the nation over the years, too.
It has always been our wish to make the pages of this
journal informative and both instructive and entertaining
as well. In these days of paper shortages it is sometimes
impossible to insert all that we should wish or even give a
correct balance to our subject matter.
R&S June 1944
R&S March 1947
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