B&Q is a heavyweight in the British DIY industry and is many people’s go to when they need essentials for their home and garden. But one Twitter user’s question on Twitter sparked a lot of conversation. They asked: “Without googling etc…what does B&Q stand for?” His tweet left many baffled. The answer is Block and Quayle, the surnames of the company’s founders – Richard Block and his brother-in-law David Quayle.
The person who posted the question added: “It stands for the founders – Block and Quayle. Who knew ay!”
Another person tweeted: “Block and Quayle. Been a pub quiz standard for years.”
A third added: “Pub quiz question – Block & Quayle was their original name.”
One user said the letters could stand for “Bargains and Quality while another said: “Why did you not call the shop Richard and David?”
They opened their first store in a cinema in Southampton, initially calling the company Block and Quayle before shortening it to B&Q.
Mr Block and Mr Quayle set up the company to help people with their DIY needs. Many goods used to be restricted, meaning they could only be bought at builders’ merchants and hardware stores.
When the company started, the founders paid themselves £90 a month each and worked a six-day week.
Customers began to grow in numbers, buying B&Q’s cheap paint, shelving and tools.
It only took Mr Block and Mr Quayle six months to pay back their bank loan.
Within five years, the company was making a £1 million turnover.
They opened their second shop in Portsmouth before expanding across the southeast.
By the end of the 1970s, B&Q had set up 26 branches by the end of the 1970s.
Mr Block left the company in 1976 and moved to the Channel Islands while Mr Quayle stayed. He eventually sold the company to Woolworths four years later.
Mr Quayle died in 2010 and left £4million in his will to and the bulk of his estate to his second wife Chrissie and children.
The Derbyshire Times reported that Mr Block, who was local to the area, died this month, aged 80.
His friend told the local newspaper that Richard was modest about his achievements, saying: “He was interested to talk about many things, but didn’t mention B&Q unless asked.”
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