In 1919 a group of soldiers from Leeds were demobbed close to Bayford in Hertfordshire. When they returned to Yorkshire they chose that village name for their new coal merchant’s business. Since then the Bayford Group has been involved in a variety of businesses but the core has always been energy.

Moving into oil distribution in the early 1960’s and then into petrol retailing in 1969, the company began to diversify into property investment and development, opencast coal mining, shipping, electronics, pollution prevention and fuel cards.

The acquisition of Burmah Oil in 1995 took the oil business to a national level and other acquisitions quickly followed. Alongside the property entrepreneur Jack Petchey the group led the acquisition of the Save Group PLC, the UK’s largest independent petrol company out of administration in 2000.

The acquisition of the Gulf brand quickly followed and the company was by now supplying fuel across the whole of the UK.

A move into providing fuel cards to businesses across the UK in the early 90’s led to partnerships with all the oil majors alongside Bayford’s own brands. The acquisition of the large fuel bunkering company Routemate consolidated Bayford’s place as one of the largest and earliest pioneers in this sector. This business grew substantially leading to the formation of The Fuel Card Company PLC.

A Family Management Buyout (FAMBO) was completed in 2004 by the current Chief Executive, Jonathan Turner and along with Managing Director, Elizabeth Slater, they continued to expand and develop the group.

The Sunday Times recognised the Bayford Group on more than one occasion as a ‘Top 100 Company to Work For’ as the team grew the business organically, as well as through acquisitions, with strong team spirit. Following the disposal of some of the Group’s energy activities, investment continues to be made in fuelcard businesses, diverse property interests, consumer products and employment initiatives.

In 2013 our shareholders invested in a new fuelcard business, Diesel 24 and in a move that saw a return to the company’s roots, an oil distribution company Oilfast. The property portfolio was also added to with an investment in Laudale, a 13,000 acre estate in Scotland.

The group Head Office at Bowcliffe Hall Estate, Bramham, adjacent to the A1M is a prime location for our national business interests. It also provides an exclusive home from home environment for a range of tenants, who enjoy the the multi award winning conference and events facilities within the Estate. In 2013, a year long building and renovation project on the Bowcliffe Estate created the multi award winning Blackburn Wing, an innovative conference and events space, and the Bowcliffe Drivers’ Club, a private members club. The work also created four further office spaces from redundant buildings on the Estate.

2013 also witnessed the establishing of the Bayford Foundation a pioneering programme built around creating sales jobs in the energy industry which will result in long term career opportunities for people in the local area.

In 2014 Jonathan became an Ambassador for The Archbishop Of York Youth Trust, an organisation created to enable young people throughout the north of England to be the change they want to see.