Bourne Textile Services was founded in 1932 by Ernest Stroud and John Norman as Bourne Hygienic Laundry, a small family-run company providing a high quality laundry and washing service to the local area.
On 18 November 1938 Bourne Hygienic Laundry became a limited company with Ernest Stroud as the first managing director. From 1946 it was decided to expand into dry cleaning and shops were opened in the local area.
Over the past 35 years the company has gradually evolved into a major provider of linen services to hotels and restaurants. One of the key decisions in this evolution was made back in the early 1970s when an agreement was signed with Brooks Cleaners (later Brooks Service Group) of Bristol to operate, through a franchise arrangement, a new concept in a laundry service - and so the hiring and processing of linen to hotels was started. As this business developed it was decided to sell all the dry cleaning shops to Sketchley’s and focus on the provision of a commercial laundry and linen hire service.
In the mid 1980s Bourne extended its operating franchise area to include most of the Home Counties which enabled the company to continue growing in a planned manner. At about the same time a new company, Bourne Contract Support Services, was formed as a contract cleaning and catering support business.
In 1992 a joint venture company, Brooks Bourne Services, was created with Brooks Service Group to focus on the provision of specialist workwear services to the food industry and a new two-storey factory was built at the Manning Road site.
It was in 1995 that the directors started to plan for the future by renting a distribution unit on the industrial estate just off Cherry Holt Road in the town. Now, after several additional land purchases, the business has completely moved onto this four acre site with its purpose-built premises and modern plant. This planned and phased development has meant that the company is now able to focus on the future from only one base and ensures that customers are guaranteed the consistency of service and supply that they require.
Bourne Contract Support Services was sold to ISS in 2001 and Brooks Bourne Services continued to thrive despite intense competition.
However, in late February 2007 a major change had to be addressed when Brooks Service Group was placed into administration. As a result, Brooks Bourne Services was sold to Fenland Laundries. The exit from the workwear business has enabled Bourne Textile Services to concentrate on the hotel and restaurant sector by further investment in plant, machinery and vehicles to cope with increased demand from a larger geographical area.
A rebranding exercise took place during 2007/8 with an extensive van-repainting programme and new signage (see 'Seen Our Vehicles').
The company is now the leading independent textile service supplier in the area bounded by London, Birmingham, Sheffield and the North Sea, regularly servicing hotels with nearly 20,000 bedrooms.