How it all began.
Stablecroft Dog Care Services, whilst only 7 years old, has a history dating back to 1952. In this year husband and wife team Joyce & Tom Bradbury setup a plant hire company backing onto the Reading Road. They had very humble beginnings but had their hearts on creating a successful business and a future for themselves and their 4 young children.
They hired out dumpers, mixers, rollers and water pumps to name few things and steadily grew the business over the next 24 years. Joyce and Tom (later known as Mr Happy) were pioneers in plant hire as they were the first UK based company to introduce the mini excavator to the market, a game changer for building companies saving them a fortune on labour!
In the early 70’s 2 of their 3 sons joined the business and spearheaded the growth to become a major player in the region. This eventually led Tom purchasing the land behind Winnersh Plant Hire. They then used all of their machinery and their 3rd and eldest son John’s extensive building experience to build Stablecroft, the bungalow you now see when arriving to drop off your pooch! Tom had always loved and ridden horses so a stable block was essential to him. Little did he know the significance it would play in his yet to be born grandson’s life.
15 more years passed with all of the children getting married and having children. The family was growing fast and Stablecroft had become the anchor point for them, all until one summer’s day in 1988. Tom was competing in a show jumping event; this was a passion of his and something he was bloody good at. He came to the last fence after an almost flawless run, cheered on by family and friends he made the jump but as his horse came down he slid down the horse’s neck and onto the ground. He’d had a heart attack and died shortly after. It was known he had a dodgy ticker but always played it down when his family showed any worry.. Worry less, live more he believed.
As time passed, the pain of our loss eased and with more grandchildren joining the family Stablecroft still played the family hub for us all, with birthdays and Christmas gatherings happening year round. Joycee, the head of the family, founder of Winnersh Plant Hire and the kindest most generous woman on Earth was moving into her mid 80’s and started to get quite unwell as time went on. Her daughter Rita, my mother, moved into Stablecroft to help her through the twilight years.
In 2013, with her blessing, I converted her and Tom’s stables into warm shelters for the day care you now see. Joyce has always loved and owned dogs so she was thrilled at the idea of lots of them running, playing together and behaving as naturally as possible around Stablecroft. So with help from my uncle John the builder we began the 10 week project using some machinery kindly donated by Joyce and the 2 other uncles Kevin and Mick. However, less than a month after completion Joyce became even more unwell and passed away peacefully that September breaking so many hearts as she left.
She and Tom were both incredible people. They worked and lived so hard with both their family and their animals kept closest to heart. They saw the opportunity to build a business in a difficult market but the risks and sacrifices they made have paid off.. a true inspiration.
They still live and breathe through the family they’ve made, through the business they built and businesses that have been born thereafter.
Love and admiration from all the family.