A COMPANY has celebrated its 150th anniversary with a dinner at The Grand in Brighton.

T. Reeve and Son Ltd is based on Fairway Industrial Estate, Moulsecoomb Way, Brighton.

It specialises in motor body repairs, mainly from insurance companies but also from the general public.

There is a MoT bay and servicing is also undertaken with mechanical repairs and wheel refurbishment

Maggie and Brian Reeve are the fourth generation of the same family to run the business.

Brian has now retired but Maggie is still in the business with Tom and Eleanor soon to be the fifth generation at the helm.

Tom is in charge of the day-to-day operations.

Maggie said: “Our core trade is repairing vehicles involved in accidents.

“We are a one stop car shop and we repair about 100 each week.

“Business is pretty much constant and we do take in retail customers as well.

“We are inspected twice a year for BSI, which is proof of our high standards and training.”

Maggie said being a family-run business is beneficial.

She said: “We are very proud of what we do.

“We employ about 50 staff and I like to think that we look after them well.

“If there’s an issue we can act on it straight away.

“We are very forward-thinking and being family-run we can make decisions straightaway, meaning there’s no time wasted.”

The company is also proud to support local charities.

Maggie said: “We like to feel that we do our bit to support good causes.

“We were heavily involved in the Snailtrail campaign for The Martlets Hospice in Hove.

“One of them is in our reception which we proudly bought but we also repaired a lot of them free of charge after they had been damaged by being outside for so long.

“We also back local rugby, cricket and football teams.”

A total of 268 guests, family and friends attended the party at The Grand Brighton.

Maggie said: “Everyone had a great time and it really was a lovely evening.

“My husband and son both spoke and it was great to see so many friends and customers there.

“Road calming has meant that the number of accidents has dropped.

“But we are pleased with the way the company is going as we reach 150.”

T. Reeve & Son was started in 1869 by John Reeve as a coach builder.

The business was passed to his sons Lewes and Tom who steered it through the First World War and into the post-war period when steel built motor cars replaced wooden coaches.

Tom Reeve ran the business through the great depression of the 30s handing over to his son John Reeve just prior to the Second World War.

When John was called up he had to come back to work at the age of 20 to keep things ticking over.

During the Second World War John Reeve and partner Gerry Stenning turned T. Reeve & Son into a limited company.

It was very busy in the post-war years as car ownership became more widespread,

John Reeve’s son Brian joined the company in 1963 which by then had moved from the original premises in the centre of town to a purpose-built work shop in Hollingdean Road.

In the 1970s, there were several major advances in repair techniques.

It was in 1989 when Brian and Maggie took over.

In 1997 there was a serious fire in the main workshop which resulted in the move to its current site.

The new site enabled the company to re-equip with the most up to date methods of repair and spraying.