One hundred not out for the Gatwick Group - From the Manor
From their earliest beginning, this “From the Manor” column charts the development of Brook & Churches across one hundred years from a blacksmiths to the very latest in high-specification electric vehicles, and remains very much a family affair.
Brook & Churches, a family owned company, has this year been trading for 100 years. Located on Gatwick Road in the Manor Royal Business District, David (Managing Director) and Chris Brook (Financial Director) have been operating the Gatwick Kia garage since 1997.
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Originally located in Barcombe, near Lewes, Brook & Churches started in 1921 as a Blacksmiths (the transport of the day). Founded by John Brook who handed the business to his son, Roy Brook in 1963, who having developed it on from a blacksmiths to a local garage and petrol station handed it to his son David Brook in 1982.
After acquiring Mitsubishi, Chris Brook then also joined the family business in 1984 as the Financial Director. In 1995 Brook & Churches moved to Scaynes Hill where Ben Brookbank became the Operations Manager.
Continuing to grow, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Isuzu franchises were now being sold from Scaynes Hill and even this new site was no longer sufficient to house a still rapidly expanding business. In 1997 the family took a significant risk and each sold their family homes to fund another relocation, this time to a 1.2 acre purpose built site on Gatwick Road which proved to be the ideal location for the consolidation of the company’s operations.
Brook & Churches now operates Gatwick Kia, employing 32 people, including Chloe Brook who is the 4th generation of our family to work in the business. We pride ourselves on our family history and value both our staff and customers. Many of our staff have worked with us for over 20 years, Richard Marchant in our Accounts Department has been with the company for 47 years and is showing no signs of slowing down. We have customers dating back to the late 70’s with 2 having bought over 10 cars each from us. We believe this demonstrates our ethos of honesty, integrity and trustworthiness and always striving for the best outcome for the customer.
Whilst COVID-19 has had a decimating impact on the areas surrounding Gatwick Airport in the last two years we are now seeing a significant upturn in our number of sales and believe this is a key indicator of the economic outlook for the area. We are confident that the airport will return to the same level of previous activity and that this will happen relatively quickly as we all adapt to a ‘new normal’.
We are excited for 2022 as we enjoy working with such a fantastic franchise and because of the developments of the new Electric Vehicle Range, specifically the EV6.
We are confident in the future and look forward to more good times ahead, and hopefully another 100 years trading as Brook & Churches, although what vehicles will look like by then is anyone’s guess!