Pickfords is a removal company, founded in c.1695 and currently part of Moving Services Group UK Ltd. The Pickfords family of Adlington, south of Manchester, first entered the wagon trade in the 17th century. Initially they were engaged in supplying quarry stone by packhorse for the construction of turnpike roads; instead of packhorses returning with empty loads, they carried goods for third parties.
In 1756 the company relocated to London and in 1776 Pickfords invented the fly wagon which could travel from London to Manchester in the then fast speed of four and a half days.
In 1816 the company was close to bankruptcy after many years of decline. The Pickford family sold out to a number of businesses led by Joseph Baxendale, whose family became instrumental in running the company for over a century.
In the 20th century Pickfords switched to road haulage.
In 1912 the firm merged with rival haulage company Carter Paterson, although both kept their separate names. In 1920 Pickfords was taken over by Hays Wharf Ltd., which in turn was later taken over by the National Freight Corporation (NFC).
As part of the NFC, Pickfords was involved in a wide range of haulage activities, including heavy haulage from the 1950s to the 1980s.
In 1996 Pickfords was sold on to an American company called Allied Van Lines for $400 million. In 2008 Pickfords was sold again, and became part of Moving Services Group UK Ltd.