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Well-known regional estate agency changes name and digital direction

Clarke Munro, formerly Thirlwells, is to operate its two branches as 'super branch' style hybrid hubs as its expands in the North East.

Nigel Lewis

estate agency

One of the UK’s best-known independent regional estate agency names has disappeared 43 years after it was established.

North East agency Thirlwells, which was founded in June 1977 by Margaret and Keith Thirlwell, is now Clarke Munro.

But the relaunch is more than a name change – the business is to embrace tech and turn its two existing branches into hybrid-style hubs as the business expands.

Nevertheless, with offices in Middlesborough and Billingham, its brand has been given a total overhaul including new fascia and website.

The Thirlwells sold out in 2004 to two of their staff, Wendy Clarke and Nicola Munro (pictured, above), who decided now is the time to change its name.

The duo decided to take an unusual approach to re-launching the business during the pandemic, holding their launch party on Facebook with clients, suppliers, friends and other staff watching.

But Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen turned up in person (pictured) to cut the ribbon who, the pair have revealed, was a customer in 2009.


“We’re proud of the Thirlwells legacy, but we felt the brand had become a little tired; 20 years since the last revamp, it needed a bit of a facelift,” Clarke told local media.

“And while our renowned personal service and local expertise remains, we’re also looking to the future.

“Gone are the days of an estate agency on every corner; we’re concentrating on our two super branches in Middlesbrough and Billingham.

“We will continue to build on our innovative digital services such as virtual walkthroughs and online appointments which we’ve always offered, even before Covid.”

Read more about Middlesbrough and the North East.


November 4, 2020

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