Nicholsons are a family run business specialising in Car, Agricultural and Garden Machinery services since 1938. Our sales and engineering team have extensive Knowledge within the agricultural and automotive industry. We're proud to be the leading supplier of some of the UKs top manufacturers, providing expert advice and services to both existing and new customers. We also offer a Garage with full forecourt facilities.
We are proud to be Peugeot and Mitsubishi specialists for over 30 years. Our approved used car range includes a wide range of makes and models, and we're confident you'll find the right car for you. Our experienced car sales team offer a friendly and welcoming service, offering excellent finance options to suit all needs and budgets. We go one step further than just selling you a new car- we also help to service and maintain your vehicle with our expert engineers at our Body repair and MOT centre.
Nicholsons are new and used Agricultural machinery specialists, and we're proud to be the leading Case IH supplier in East Anglia. We're also long established as a leading supplier of top manufacturers JCB, TYM, Pottinger, Bailey, Vogel & Noot and many more. We also service, repair and supply parts to help you maintain your Agricultural Machinery, keeping it in top working order.
Whatever machinery you need for your garden, we can help. From lawnmowers, hedge trimmers and leaf blowers, we've got you covered. Our showroom based in Stalham, Norfolk stocks a huge selection of new and used garden machinery from top brands such as Hayter, AL-KO, Kawasaki, Makita and Toro. We also service, repair and supply parts to help you maintain your garden machinery keeping it in prime condition. We work with all makes of garden and ground care machinery from leading manufacturers including Hayter, AL-KO, Kawasaki, Makita, Toro and more.
In 1938 S. J. (Jimmy) Nicholson rented the cottage and blacksmiths workshop for ten shillings (50p) per week. The garage workshop and forecourt now stand on the site of the old blacksmiths shop.
Jimmy had started in business on his own account two years earlier as a Threshing Machine Contractor, operating a Ransomes Steam Traction engine together with a Threshing Drum and Straw Pitcher. He borrowed the initial deposit of £60 from a local smallholder.
Over the next few years a combination of hard work, enthusiasm and a desire of success, the business expanded to operate six threshing sets all driven by Steam Traction engines.
After the second world war, farm mechanisation brought the demise of steam power. So in 1948 the old engines were sold together with much of the older machinery. Tractors took over as the power source on farms and gradually through the 1950s combine harvesters took over the harvesting of the grain crops, forcing Jimmy to move into more general farm contracting operations.
In 1957 a new enterprise was created, with planning permission granted to operate a petrol filling station on the premises. This led into motor car repairs and sales of accessories.
The 1960s again provided expansion and opportunity with many farmers buying their own machinery. Demand for contracting gradually diminished. Jimmy moved into the world of hydraulic excavator hire by purchasing a Whitlock Digger. By the early 70s a fleet of over 20 machines with operators were contracted out to coincide with installation of mains sewers and house building in the area. Bacton GasTerminal provided an immense amount of work during this time.
During the 60s and 70s the premises were rebuilt in order to provide modern facilities. Adjacent land and a farmyard were also purchased to increase the total premises to over 3 acres. The agricultural machinery sector had been created and a totally new set of buildings and yard was built to split the business into separate operating concerns.
All the growth of the business during this period had coincided with the sons of the founder joining father Jimmy. Malcolm, the eldest, had spent some time with a firm of accountants and joined in 1957, initially to operate machinery. He gradually took over the administration and financial matters. Tony had served his apprenticeship with an agricultural machinery company and brought in valuable knowledge of farm machinery. John joined direct from school and served petrol for many years. He also had a big input into the development of the motor services section. After working in a local store, Roger joined to look after the parts operation. During the next few years the younger sons also joined the company, Henry after serving a parts apprenticeship at a Norwich motor dealer, Alan direct from school, David after working at a food processing plant and lastly Tim also joined direct from school.
The business moved forward by operating in three main sectors, agricultural machinery and services, new car sales and motor services and garden machinery.
As well as the eight sons already mentioned, founder Jimmy and wife Kathleen also had six daughters who in turn all have families and are all working in their own business or chosen professions.
Jimmy Nicholson, the founder, died at the age of 82 in 1998 but not before recording his memories in the form of two books both of which are local best sellers. 'I kept a troshin' and 'More muck than Money' contain many tales of his early business years and much about life in general.