Celebrating its 55th year in business, a prominent company in Hampshire achieved significant success and widespread recognition, establishing itself as a household name.

Block & Quayle, founded by Richard Block and David Quayle, originally opened its doors in Portswood on March 5, 1969.

The DIY store, which later became B&Q, opened in a building that has some uncertainty surrounding its original use.

Constructed in the year 1929, Plaza Hall's original purpose has been a subject of speculation, with some suggesting it may have served as a cinema, although this theory is questionable.

No documented evidence exists of the location ever obtaining a licence for screening films. The venue probably functioned as a dance hall that occasionally screened private movies.

Daily Echo:

Back in the 1950s, this structure served as a storage facility for furniture in the early 1990s it was destroyed tin a fire.

The firm’s first headquarters came in the shape of a 16ft caravan in a car park which cost the pair £123.

Their aim was to make DIY products accessible to everyone with wider product range, longer opening hours and competitive prices.

Daily Echo:

By the late 1970s, B&Q had expanded its presence to encompass 26 retail outlets in the southern region and in the 1980s they acquired Scottish DIY chain Dodge City before becoming part of Kingfisher Group.

Further growth came in the 1990s when they merged with France’s leading DIY retailer, Castorama.

Dominating the DIY retail sector in Europe, B&Q expanded its reach by venturing into the thriving Asian market.

Daily Echo:

In the subsequent decade, they saw continued growth with the introduction of diy.com, a platform that empowered individuals to buy products online at any time of the day or night, seven days a week.