North Kent Paint and Equipment LTD., have been Valentine agents sing 1956 with no special claim to fame other than that they have dedicated themselves to hard work to give a first class service for a first class material; on this they base their success story.
The founder of the firm, Arthur Walker, left the aircraft industry and opened his own account as a coachbuilder.
After a false start in Bournemouth, he started again on his own, opening the premises in Bexleyheath in 1953, building up to a staff of five. At that time, he was unable to obtain supplies of Valentine's products. He explained his difficulties to The Valentine Varnish & Lacquer Co., and in 1956 was appointed a stockist.
With a staff of two, one van and one car, supported by the late Mr. D. C. Robertson of Valentine's, he called on the bodyshops of South East London and North Kent.
In the early stages in this area it was a matter of hearing 'Valenine, who are they?' a different proposition to conditions obtaining today. They now carry, on licence, a combined stock of 3,500 gallons of nitro synthetics and the complete range of synthetic paints.
After a year it was necessary to acquire another van, with another administrative staff. Another year passed and alterations had to be made for additional storage and sales space. The coach-building section had to be phased out completely in 1957 and by 1960 three vans were in operation. The area of influence continued to expand and it was found by 1963 that some of the longer journeys were uneconomical. The founder's brother, Fred Walker, was appointed to manage a new depot in Maidstone early in 1964. From there they extended to coastal towns giving a 24-hour service.
In 1962 they became a private company and comprise as directors the two Walker brothers, and not least, Mrs. S. Winkler who has been with the concern for the past twelve years and has charge of the office administration of both depots.
Over the years, they have gradually added to their list of suppliers, so that now they specialise in garage equipment used throughout the repair and maintenance of motor vehicles, employing two representatives, seven drivers and nine people on the counter sales and general administration including specialists, a total of eighteen, with eight vans and three cars, thus ensuring a service second to none.
This includes the supply of spare parts for servicing the most popular makes of garage equipment.
The whole of the North Kent and South East London areas are serviced twice per day, enabling a customer to take a small body repair in the morning and return it completed to the car owner on the same day.
The directors of the company have been named, but they would be nothing without the support and goodwill of all the staff, some of whom have been with the company for many years.
North Kent Paint and Equipment Ltd., enjoy a happy relationship between their staff and all their customers and the management extend their thanks to both for the success of 'Operation Valentine'.