Godfreys was founded in November 1933 by Sir William Godfrey. W M Godfrey and Partners started life supplying sprayers and Allen Scythes to local fruit growers from a small flat in Tonbridge. It soon relocated to a site in Petteridge, Brenchley, where it grew to be one of the largest horticultural equipment suppliers in the UK. W M Godfrey & Partners set up satellite stores across Kent in Sellinge and Sevenoaks and represented Ransomes and other leading brands of the day. The company was also involved in milking machines and the manufacturing of generators. It was bad export sales to Nigeria, the dry summer of 1976 that eventually brought a halt to W M Godfrey & Partners in 1980 after 47 years of trading.
The site in Sevenoaks was purchased and re-instated as a garden machinery business, with the name changing to just “Godfreys”. Under new ownership, Godfreys grew to become a leading regional retailer in the garden machinery industry, however in 1995 a devastating fire destroyed much of the Old Otford Road site. Godfreys re-emerged 250 meters down the road, after acquiring DPTS house. After an extensive remodel, the 18,000 sq.ft. store opened in June 1996. The Sevenoaks site located on Otford Road was opened in 1967 and so this year marks Godfreys being 50 years in Sevenoaks!
In 1998, Godfreys was appointed a John Deere Turfcare dealer for Kent and South-East London. Godfreys market to the golf, local authority, sports turf, contractor and estate business, selling this premium range of products from John Deere.
The business was sold to a former employee in 2005 and together with a loyal team has seen the company grow further.
In 2009, in the teeth of the recession, Godfreys purchased Palmer’s Turfcare, based in Hailsham. Palmer’s were the John Deere Turfcare dealer for the whole of Sussex and operated out of a new facility on the A22, Palmers Turfcare has now been re-branded Godfreys. In 2011, Godfreys purchased another leading John Deere Turfcare dealer called Golf & Turf, located in Wokingham and representing John Deere in the counties of Berkshire, Surrey, Middlesex and south west London. This acquisition meant Godfreys became one of the largest John Deere Turf only dealers in Europe and have enjoyed year on year success selling John Deere commercial turf machinery equipment and associated machinery into the market. A decision in 2016 to sell the John Deere commercial business and the associated branches of Hailsham and Wokingham to Burden Bros and Farols Ltd respectively, both John Deere Agricultural Equipment dealers, was taken. The deal was completed in Autumn 2016 taking Godfreys “Back to the Future” as a specialist dealer of garden & estate equipment servicing the West Kent, East Surrey and the south London area.
Godfreys was set up in 1933 with the following ethos: “a refusal to sell the next best, if the best was not available” (as expressed by founder, Sir William Godfrey) and 84 years later we still stand by these words.