Frank Tripp established the family business in 1966 when, after taking over an extensive newspaper round from his father, he began using his box van to carry out small removals.
Ever the entrepreneur, Frank also delivered goods, including horse manure for market gardens and cattle food. In addition, he supplied vegetables to the London and Sheffield markets, provided coal and tarmacadam for Council road works and transported personnel from RNAS Culdrose to other naval bases including Weymouth and Portsmouth.
During the 1960s only a few firms like Pickfords, Smiths and Christophers were carrying out national removals. Due to license restrictions only vehicles with an A license could carry goods further than 50 miles. In 1967 Frank bought a vehicle with an A License from A E Harris, a furniture seller on Killigrew Street, Falmouth. When local firm, John Julian, stopped doing removals, Frank managed to buy two more vehicles with A licenses. With these, Frank Tripp Removals could undertake multiple removals as far away as Scotland.
Frank Tripp Removals was initially based at Nancegollan but moved to a larger storage facility at Treneer Egg Packing Station and Milk Factory in 1968. A fleet of six removal vans and flatbeds carried out large removals as well as general haulage.
Frank's brother Max was in the police force but during weekends and leave he worked on removals and undertook the maintenance of the vehicles, even putting in new engines on occasion. Their brother Russell also worked as a porter and driver. The brothers were used to working alongside each other from their childhood, growing up on Little Halwin Farm, Porkellis.
When vehicle licenses were replaced by operators’ licenses in 1977, both Frank and Max received certificates of professional competence.
In 1978, the business moved from Treneer to make way for the visitor attraction Poldark Mine. It relocated to Trannack Mill, Coverack Bridges, near Helston, a site previously owned by Trago Mills. On leaving school, Max’s son Simon joined the business, working on removals and gaining his heavy goods qualifications.
Frank had never lost his love of farming and had ‘kept his hand in’ running a smallholding at Black Rock during the 1970s and a 45-acre farm near Newquay during the 1980s. By the mid-80s he had largely disposed of the removals fleet and determined to turn his attention to farming.
Max purchased Frank Tripp Removals and the one remaining vehicle (a tractor unit) from Frank in 1986. Rather than buying the Trannack Mill site, he moved the business to Penryn and rented a unit at Kernick Industrial Estate. Max bought a trailer for the tractor unit and after leaving the police force in 1987, built up a new fleet and workforce. Max's daughter Allison also began working for the business.
In 2005, the business was moved to make room for a new B&Q store. The removals operations relocated to a larger storage facility at United Downs Industrial Estate whilst the office remained at the family home in Penryn. With a growing fleet and workforce, family members brought their skills and enthusiasm to the business. Allison and Simon returned to the business after time elsewhere and grandson Luke Tripp joined the team.
The remaining operations moved from Penryn to the United Downs premises in 2015 and the site was redeveloped to incorporate a new office, staff canteen and reception facilities. The business took advantage of technological advances and introduced a new software system to manage a growing workload.
In 2016 Frank Tripp Removals was relaunched as Tripp Removals and Storage to celebrate 50 years of trading. To mark this occasion, Max has recorded his memories of working within a Cornish family enterprise and recalls some of the changes to the removals industry during this time.