Mov­ing with the times

Mod­ern removals com­pa­nies like Abels have brought the in­dus­try to new lev­els

EDP Norfolk - - Property -

IT’S NOT so long ago that a sup­ply of news­pa­pers, some string and a few tea chests were the only pack­ing ma­te­ri­als you needed when mov­ing home. And if the tea chest con­tain­ing your china and glass­ware made omi­nous chink­ing noises when it ar­rived, or your wardrobe had mys­te­ri­ously gained sev­eral deep scratches in tran­sit, well that was the risk you took when you moved.

“Nowa­days, that way of do­ing things seems pos­i­tively pre­his­toric and bears no re­sem­blance to the way a mod­ern removals com­pany op­er­ates,” says John Wat­son, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Bran­don-based Abels Mov­ing Ser­vices.

“But it is still true that the con­di­tion of your trea­sured be­long­ings when they ar­rive de­pends on the qual­ity of the ma­te­ri­als used to pro­tect them and the way they were packed. How to pack cor­rectly is some­thing all our pack­ing crews learn dur­ing their lengthy train­ing with us.”

Some removals com­pa­nies just bring in con­tract pack­ers when needed, but all of Abels’ staff are full-time em­ploy­ees and all have un­der­gone rig­or­ous train­ing in the com­pany’s own spe­cially-built train­ing cen­tre.

“Our staff learn on our own glass, china, fur­ni­ture and so forth, not on our clients’ pos­ses­sions,” says John, “and it takes around three years to train some­one to the point where they can safely pack and move any ob­ject, from an an­tique grand­fa­ther clock to a grand pi­ano.”

Abels only use the high­est-qual­ity pack­ing ma­te­ri­als, such as:

Acid-free tis­sue to wrap sil­ver items, which pre­vents them be­com­ing tar­nished.

Spe­cially-made bub­blewrap con­sist­ing of three lay­ers – a wa­ter­proof mem­brane, the bub­bles them­selves, and a soft fab­ric, which is what ac­tu­ally touches the item.

Sturdy car­tons with dou­ble-walls which sand­wich two fluted, cor­ru­gated lay­ers.

If the item to be moved is too large (or too valu­able) to go into a car­ton or to be wrapped, Abels spe­cial­ist case-mak­ing depart­ment will pur­pose-build a case to safely con­tain the item dur­ing ship­ment. The case-mak­ers can be asked to con­struct a case for al­most any­thing, from a suit of ar­mour or a statue to a vin­tage mo­tor­bike.

Abels of­ten works with pri­vate col­lec­tors as well as meet­ing the con­di­tions spec­i­fied by the Mu­se­ums & Gal­leries Com­mis­sion for the move­ment of ex­hibits to and from mu­se­ums and art gal­leries. Among Abels’ spe­cial­i­ties are trans­port­ing:

PIANOS: there are some 12,000 parts in a pi­ano and mov­ing such a del­i­cate in­stru­ment re­quires great care and at­ten­tion. Abels has con­sid­er­able ex­pe­ri­ence in mov­ing pianos, rang­ing from an up­right to the finest con­cert grand, and will un­der­take the en­tire process, be­gin­ning with pre­par­ing the in­stru­ment for its move to set­ting it up in its new home ready to be re­tuned.


few items are as valu­able as the £6 mil­lion re­nais­sance al­tar­piece

Madonna and Child by Gio­vanni Bellini which Abels re­lo­cated for Nor­wich Cas­tle Mu­seum, but many of the com­pany’s moves in­volve trans­port­ing clients’ valu­able paint­ings or statues in cus­tom-made tran­sit cases.

WINE: when clients want to move the con­tents of their wine cel­lar, Abels has the ex­pe­ri­ence to do so in a tem­per­a­ture­con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment and with­out spilling a drop.

“Every move is dif­fer­ent and places dif­fer­ent de­mands on us and our decades of knowhow,” says John Wat­son, “which is what makes it im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing to com­plete such dif­fi­cult and de­mand­ing moves suc­cess­fully.”

Top: Some of the Abels teamAbove:Care­ful pack­ing Be­low:A vin­tage mo­tor­cy­cle be­ing safely crated

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