The business started in 1921 when Harry Bleach bought a lorry with his gratuity money after the first world war. This and other Bleach vehicles operated around the village of Lavant in West Sussex where Harry lived, delivering mostly agricultural produce.
Harry’s son Lawrence (although he was known as Mick) joined the business soon after returning from his national service in Egypt just after the end of WWII. He started with a coal round and, after a few years, took over the running of the road transport side of the business from Harry. In 1955, with about a dozen trucks, Lawrence founded Bleach of Lavant Limited, named after the place where it had all started. Lawrence was a keen sportsman, playing football for Chichester, cricket for Lavant, and was captain of Goodwood Golf Club and later President of the Sussex Golf Captains Society. He said that he preferred trucks over coaches because it allowed him to play more sport at the weekends.
In 1985 the company moved away from Lavant, its original home, to a larger site in Chichester where the company’s workshop remains today. In 2007, to accommodate further growth, the vehicle operations were moved to the current site at Ford Airfield.
Today the business is run by Mick Bleach, grandson of Harry and son of “Mick”. The current Mick’s two sons, Ben and George, also work for the company.