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When Oliver Barnard took his first tentative steps into the transport industry in 1909 the introduction of the car to Stowmarket was still a few yearsaway and little could he have known the company would go on to become one of East Anglia’s leading privately owned companies. Oliver Barnard started out with two horses and one wagon, offering day trips and outings to destinations such as Great Yarmouth.

Operating from a site on Station Road, on which Barnards Volkswagen still stands on today, Oliver introduced Model ‘T’ Fords to Stowmarket in 1921 and by 1931 the company was selling Vauxhalls and Bedfords and Chevrolet cars and trucks, as well as building their own bus bodies. As it was formerly known, O. G Barnard and Sons became authorised Volkswagen and Audi dealers in 1980, this complemented the existing range of Mercedes cars which they had been selling since 1931. Throughout these early years the motor business operated hand in hand with the haulage side of the business.

It was Oliver’s son, Jack Barnard who formed the foundations of the haulage business in 1959 when he was asked if he knew where 12000 tons of Cuban sugar could be stored. Against all family advice, he purchased an aircraft hangar at Mendlesham Airfield to store the sugar, it was the ensuing rent that went some way to convincing the family that there was a future in warehousing.

Under the leadership of Oliver’s grandson Harley Barnard, the logistics side of the company, Taylor Barnard, became one of the largest privately owned warehousing and distribution companies in the UK. After the sale of Taylor Barnard in September 2000 Harley continued the family interest in the car side of the business in his role of Chairman. In more recent times change has now seen Paul Barnard, his son and great grandson of Oliver appointed Managing Director of the business now called Marriott Motor Group.

So where did the Marriott Motor Group name come from?With the sale of Taylor Barnard the company had to divide into divisions and a new trading name was given. After many ideas Harley Barnard came up with Marriott Motor Group. Marriotts Walk, Stowmarket was where the Barnard family had its family home during for most of the twentieth century and was a fitting tribute.




Oliver Barnard born in Bury St Edmunds.




Oliver Barnard started trips for paying travellers from the Fox Hotel, Stowmarket popular trips included Stowmarket to Yarmouth.




Jack Barnard born in Stowmarket.




Purchased premises on Station Road, Stowmarket which later become the Gas Board showrooms and is currently the opticians.




Started selling the model ‘T’ Fords.




Jack Barnard joined the company.




Purpose built garage built on Station Road but this was unfortunately burnt down in 1931 when a Corona coach had caught fire.




Selling Vauxhall and Bedford vehicles as well as body fabrication.




Business know as O.G. Barnard & Sons Limited.




Business know as O.G. Barnard & Sons Limited.




Jack Barnard responsible for setting up the British Road Service (B.R.S) haulage company. He then setup business to sell Bedford and Foden lorries.




Acquired H.G Taylor Haulage.




Anglia Warehousing Limited opened the first 30,000 sq ft of building space to store graphite blocks for Sizewell Power Station.




Jack Barnard secured distribution agreement to cover most of East Anglia for Heinz (of the 57 varieties family)

Oliver Barnard dies 6th February 1969 and is buried in Stowmarket




Taylor Barnard Limited became incorporated.




Authorised Volkswagen and Audi dealer in Stowmarket, this complemented the existing range of Mercedes cars.




O.G. Barnard & Sons Limited acquires Northgate Motors bringing Bury St Edmunds Volkswagen and Audi into the portfolio.




Barnards acquires Volkswagen and Audi in Ipswich.




Opened Northgate Audi in Bury St Edmunds now known as Bury St Edmunds Audi.




Marriott Motor Group Limited purchases Kings Lynn Audi.




Taylor Barnard, the logistics side of the business sold to TNT Post Group.

Marriott Motor Group Limited created as the automotive retail division of the business.




Ipswich Audi relocates to purpose built premises in Bath Street




Northgate Audi relocates to current location on Skyliner Way and renamed to Bury St Edmunds Audi.




Marriott opens Volkswagen Van Centre in Bury St Edmunds.

– Wolsey Van Centre in Ipswich awarded retailer of the year.




Marriott Motor Group Limited acquires Bennett Motor Company trading as Kings Lynn Volkswagen




Paul Barnard appointed as Managing Director.




Marriott Motor Group Limited acquires Bristo’s Limited adding Skoda in Ipswich along with Renault and Dacia in Ipswich.




Ipswich Audi relocates to its purpose built £8m premises at Futura Park.




Marriott Volkswagen division awarded top dealer group for 2017.

All in BOLD related to the Automotive industry.

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