IT is not often a family run company gets to celebrate 100 years in business.

but that is exactly what Schofields, still based in north Essex, is doing this year.

The company’s directors, staff, family and friends will mark the occasion with a special party at Le Talbooth where its history will very much take centre stage.

Managing director Matt Schofield and his wife Rachel, who also works within the business, have spent hours sifting through memorabilia from photographs to receipts which will be displayed at the upcoming event.

Matt explains it was hugely important to them to mark the centenary of the company, which was started by his grandfather Robert and then continued by his father, Bob and uncle David.

“It is a real achievement to have been doing this for 100 years and it is a good time to look back at how things have changed,” says Matt.

Robert Douglas Schofield started his local carrier’s service in 1919 around Langham, Boxted and Colchester and his means of delivery was a horse-drawn delivery van.

“He was obviously limited to how far he could go because of how he was delivering things,” explains Matt.

Seven years later, in1926 Schofield’s bought its first motorised vehicle, a Model T Ford.

This allowed them to carry rabbits, chickens, eggs, tobacco and even eels caught at Boxted Mill.

But it was in the 1930s the company began to move towards furniture delivery.

This was because Robert replaced the Ford with a Morris-Commercial van, which was larger.

Matthew adds he then began to take it to private sales and auctions.

During the Second World War he, and his van were commandeered for us as temporary ambulances, which they were paid £40 and one shilling for.

Robert died in 1949 and for a time Schofields was run by his wife, Violet, and eldest daughter Peggy.

The Morris commercial van was replaced with a larger Bedford van which meant they could travel even further, taking in Alresford and Wivenhoe.

“They basically ran it themselves because my dad and brother were away in the RAF and then when they came back my dad, who was also Robert but is known as Bob, and his younger brother David, took over the running of the business,” adds Matt.

They bought three new vans and started to venture into storing furniture and by the 1980s were making their first forays into London and Europe.

Since then they have delivered all over the world.

Matt explains he learned to drive the company vans at the same time as learning to drive and was soon heading off to Europe.

“As soon as I hit my teens I was helping out in the business.

“It was all I was ever going to do, or wanted to do really.

“I have so many memories over the years, travelling all over the world and moving some very unusual things.

“We have shipped speed boats and on one occasion I remember moving a stuffed giraffe which was too big to get fully inside the van so we drove down the A12 with its head sticking out of the top.

“We have flown to New York and moved a lady into her house and we are also going to Greece soo