HTS Estates has evolved from a small trading concern in the tyre industry to a property investment, management and development business. With a long history in Cambridge and East Anglia the business has always believed in working closely with both customers and suppliers and being directly accessible and accountable to both. These values continue to be at the heart of all areas of the business today.
Established in 1929
Tyre Service Company was set up in 1929 by Ernest Brown at Jesus Lane, Cambridge as one of the very early tyre companies. Initially many of the customers were local cyclists but as motor cars became a more common sight on Cambridge roads, so motorists and local commercial users became more frequent visitors to 11 Jesus Lane.
As the market and the business developed, stocking requirements meant that the premises at Jesus Lane was no longer adequate. Consequently in the 1940’s the company moved to 28-30 Burleigh Street in Cambridge where Ernest could keep a larger stock and range of tyres. During the war years tyres for civilian use were in short supply so, in order to obtain stock for his customers Ernest used to go to London, taking with him country produce and engage in a spot of bartering: eggs and vegetables helped obtain tyres and tubes. The business continued to expand and by the time Ernest’s son Colin joined the business in 1962 Burleigh Street was becoming too congested for comfort.
Histon Road Opens 1965
On March 1st, 1965, Tyre Service Company moved to a former grocery/butcher‘s premises on Histon Road, Cambridge. This was the first venture into property ownership and development for the business and enabled the business to create an accessory shop, two car bays and a fitting area, in addition to the storage room for stock.
Furthermore with subsequent purchases of adjoining properties, the business was able to extend their facilitates tremendously to make the most of the boom years. At Histon Road the Company had developed 14 easy-access car fitting bays, two commercial bays, four exhaust ramps and ample forecourt besides offering a mobile fitting service.
The Histon Tyre Group Of Companies 1980s
As the tyre distribution industry grew so did the competition, from down-market tyre markets offering sub-standard products to reputable firms who had also grown up, supplied by major tyre manufacturers who had dramatically increased production at the same time as quality and life expectancy of tyres improved.
Tyre Service Company’s policy of continually updating and improving service meant that its position at the forefront of the industry would help to secure its future. However, as a family firm in competition with multinational, multi-depot conglomerates, diversification seemed a wise policy.
By the end of the 1980s the Histon Tyre Service Group of Companies had been formed: this included Cambridge Battery Service Limited, the original tyre business in Histon Road (renamed Cambridge Tyre Service Limited), depots in Haverhill, Newmarket and Bar Hill, P.H. Allin Motorcycles and a new taxi meter manufacturing unit (Cambridge Development and Communications). As part of this diversification the Company undertook property developments and acquisitions and the holding company Histon Tyre Service Limited was born.
The Company Today
As the market became increasingly difficult for smaller independent tyre and automotive repair operators, the directors decided to divest of the trading divisions of the Company and in the 1990’s focused its energies on managing, developing and evolving the portfolio of properties which had been acquired during the expansion of the business.
Consistent with the principles of the family business, the Company looked to do this through offering tenants and suppliers with a quality service and working with existing tenants as their businesses evolved.
To reflect this the Company was subsequently renamed HTS Estates Limited and in 2005 Nick Brown, Colin’s son, joined the Company which continues to operate under the same principles. Today the Company owns, manages and continues to develop a varied portfolio of premises in Cambridge and East Anglia providing corporate and private tenants quality premises and service. The Company remains family owned and run and has experience in both commercial and residential developments and investments in addition to managing a mixed portfolio of assets for themselves and third parties.