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Victoria Garage, Whitstable

Celebrates 60 years serving the Coastal Towns

Issue: 3 Updated: 14th January 2014

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Documentation shows Victoria Garage, Whitstable was founded in 1953 at premises in the centre of at Regent Street, Whitstable, CT5 1JD

Previously the plot was part of the garden of the Bear & Key Hotel before it was taken over by Gann Brothers Plumbers

Victoria Garge founder

1. The Vye Lancaster centre was the founder of Victoria Garage

Vye in her 50's began Victoria Garage & lived in the flat above the workshop, her partner Alex managed the business, Vye's mother Ada was Italian

Recognise anyone else in the group?

Alex Manager/Mechanic at Victoria Garage

2. Alex manager/mechanic at Victoria Garage in 1956 (Len Abbott Archive)

N.B Oil in Glass Botles & sign above door Blue Peter Retreads, the Horse Shoe is still in the family at Edward Senior & Barbara's home

Alex checks Morris 8's tyres

3. Alec checks the tyre pressures on a 1930's rag-top Series 1 Morris 8 at Victoria Garage in 1956 (Len Abbott Archive)

Ganns Plumbers Building 1

4. The facade of the original building after Ganns ceased trading

Ganns Plumbers Building 2

5. Old storage sheds left side of building

Ashby Builers Yard

6. Adjacent business Ashby Builders Yard

Victoria Garage changed hands once more Dan Kelly before being taken over by Mr Ed' Bollen senior and family in 1963

Peter Motor cycle

7. *Peter Wright-Hadley inflates the tyres on a 1940's Morris Type E Coupe 8. Peter's brother Bill, the building left background is the rear of the Collars to right Ganns the Plumbers

*Peter started work at Victoria Garage in 1959

Boots the Chemist Whitstable 8/12/12

9. 'Boots' in the High Street Whitstable pictures on 8th December 2012 at 18.32 GMT

'Boots' in the High Street was formerly the shop and trade counter of Arthur Collars, the builders merchants

10. Whitstable High Street in the early 1950's from an old postcard showing Arthur Collar's

They manufactered concrete cast fire surrounds, had their own manhole covers and were main agents for Crittall Windows

Arthur Collar was born in Whitstable in 1874 to Thomas Collar and Sarah Manktelow Pettman, he married Louise Gann and passed away on 1954 in Whitstable Louise died in 1969

Victoria Garage in 1960's Austin 7

11. Victoria Garage in the 1960's with 1959 Austin Farina series 1, Morris Minor & Ford Popular with 1960's Ford Zephyr foreground 12. Austin 7 known as the Baby Austin, produced between 1922 - 1939

The old fishing town of Whitstable had commercial business nestled amongst the houses at the date of publication December 2012 few remain

Austin 7 Owners Club

Barbara & Baby Ed' Ed' takes the wheel

13. Barbara Bollen with eldest son Edward, Austin A55 Van, Austin A30 14. Edward takes the wheel of the family MkII Jaguar

: Jaguar Owners Club :

Edward senior & his wife Barbara ran Victoria garage until 2008 when his eldest son Edward took over the reins

National Petrol Ed' with Instamatic Camera

15. National Petrol with little Edward 16. Workshop bench Ed'ward holding a Kodak Instamatic

Austin 100 on ramp Mark II Jaguar

17. Trevor Jemmet with Edward, Austin 1100 on new lift in 1969 18. Edward with another family Jaguar & Ford Anglia

: 1100 Owners Club :

Victoria Garage in 1970's Hillman's & Vauxhall

19. The forecourt in 1978 20. '73 Hillman Hunter, '72 Hillman, '70 Vauxhall

: Hillman Owners Club :

The pile of earth and a large pile of bricks tell the story

Mr Bollen Senior Footing Trench

21. Ted Bedford (Barbara's father) ... 22. ... digging the footings

Work begins on the new workshops

Concrete in fill Working around the ramp

23. Concrete poured with a pair of shabby 1100's 24. Work goes on around the ramp

Little Ed' helps out Sorry No Petrol

25. Little Edward lends a hand 26. No Petrol * 1979

* Members of OAPEC the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries proclaimed an oil embargo which started in October 1973 - March 1974 the 2nd oil crisis in 1979 came in the wake of the Iranian Revolution

Austin 1800 & Keams Van Japanese & French Cars

27. '67 Austin 1800 & Keams Commer Ratcliff Taillift Service Van, Austin 1800 owned by Mr Lukehurst of Old Bridge Road 28. '73 Datsun 510? & '77 Renault 12

: 1800 Landcrab Owners Club : Commer Owners Club : Datsun Owners Club : Renault Owners Club :

Vauxhall, Ford, Austin & Hillman 70's Peugeot

29. Vauxhall Chevette, 1959 - 1962 Ford Popular, Austin Alegro, Austin 1100 & Hillman Hunter 30. '72 Peugeot 304, '73 Audi

: Vauxhall Viva Owners Club : Ford Owners Club : Peugeot Owners Club : Austin Allegro Owners Club :

Big Crane Steel Lifting

31. Crane arrives on site 32. To lift steelwork Honda TN Van foreground

Courts Furnishers showroom was at 21-23 High Street, it closed some years ago with just a couple of floors used by Sense Charity Shop at time of publication December 2012

Lifting Steel RSJ's Final RSJ in place

33. Crane takes up the strain 34. Final RSJ in Place

RSJ's fitted Workshop almost finished

35. RSJ's in place 36. Workshop almost complete

Roof on Open for business throughout

37. Roof goes on 38. Business as usual through build with Edward & brother Mark

Rear of building Keyed into old building

39. Back of new workshop 1979 40. Keyed into old building with Edward

Finished all but doors Doors fitted

41. Just the doors to go 42. Sliding fold back doors fitted yellow car Vauxhall Chevette owned by *Geoff Mylcrist who worked as a mechanic

*Geoff Mylcrist now runs Mylcrist Builders, Whitstable

Concrete mixing Laying forecourt

43. Cement mixer ready ... 44. .. to concrete the forecourt

First stip layed Tea time

45. First strip of concrete 46. Earned a cup of tea no mug for Ted Bedford

Victoria Hire 1985

47. Victoria Hire comences trading with a fleet of 6 vehicles in August 1985

A large part of central Whitstable was branded by local authorities as the General Improvement Area (GIA) in the mid 1980's

Victoria Hire 1988

48. Victoria Hire in 1988

Victoria Hire 1991

49. The Victoria Hire Fleet ...

Rover 200's

50. ... in 1991 with three new Rover 200's

: Rover 200 Owners Club :

Car washing

51. Keep 'em clean boys

Victoria Garage, Regent Street

52. Victoria Garage final days of selling fuel

Victoria Garage Canterbury office 2003

53. Victoria Hire office at Hallets, Canterbury in 2003

Victoria Garage overview 2003

54. Victoria Garage overview 2003

Victoria Garage workshop & reception in 2003

55. Victoria Garage workshop & reception 2003

In October 2008 plans were submitted to develop the Victoria Garge site by Wedgewood (New Homes) known as Victoria Mews

Left side of Victoria Mews

56. The former Labour Exchange left, with the old Courts now Sense building centre and left side of Victoria Mews pictured on 5th January 2013

Victoria Mews frontage

57. Victoria Mews frontage on 5th January 2013

Right side of Victoria Mews

58. Right side rear of Victoria Mews Terrace

It's interesting like many seaside towns much of the property have become second homes for DFL's (Down from Londoners)

Victoria Garage Joseph Wilson site

59. Victoria Garage & Hire pictured on 8th January 2013 at 11.13 Hours

Moving to purpose built premises Joseph Wilson Industrial Estate (behind Tescos) in 2008 in addition to it's motor vehicle repair and MoT business it maintains a fleet of hire vehicles which includes over 34 vans

All Tyres, Whitstable

60. All Tyres on 15th December 2012 at 11.30 GMT

Mark Bollen runs All Tyres at the Arches, Belmont Road, Whitstable, CT5 1QP (01227 266 888)

The Arches was formerly Grass Track Ace Tony Ethrington's repair workshop beneath the main London - Ramsgate main railway line

* Tony Etherington's Grandson Matt has followed in his Grandfathers tire tracks as a Champiun Grass Track Racer

Adjacent the 'Whistle Stop' restaurant entrance used to take passengers up onto the original Whitstable Railway station, which moved to Old Bridge Road, before hand it had been the Labour Club which moved into the old Golden Lion pub across the road

The Whistle Stop changed hands at time of publication (December 2012) to the Alimo a Moroccan Restaurant

Brian Campbell with his 1934 Morris 8

60. Brian Campbell with his beloved 1934 Morris 8

The Morris 8's Log-Book

61. The original Morris 8 Log-Book

The Morris 8's Log-Book

62. Showing local ownership since the 1960's

Morris 8's original door trim

63. Original Door Trim

The Morris was the 1st £100.00 car produced by William Morris, in fact the 1st Morris Minor - OW 4018 was rescued from Chas Lees Breakers Yard at Radfall, just past Chestfield Golf Course, as youngsters Charlie Lee's was a source of parts for our old bangers, there were dozens of similar models rotting away with trees virtually growing through the chassis'

The site is now Dukes Wood residential housing development

Morris 8's 1962 MoT

63. One of the 1st cars MoT'd by Victoria Garage in the 1960's

The car has been MoT'd at Victoria Garage since 1962 even though not required by law Brian has it tested for peace of mind

Engine Side Panel Union Jack Radiator Badge & Temperature Guage

64. Common embelishment on early cars the Union Jack Emblem 65. Morris Badge Radiator & Temperature Guage

Morris 8 pictured in summer 2013

66. Still used today the car can be seen running around town with the top down on any given summers day

Nicola Bollen runs another wing of the family business E Revell & Sons Est 1903 Revell Tubes at Unit 1C Joseph Wilson Industrial Estate, Millstorood Road, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 3PS (01227 277 020)

With a staff of 12 Revell Manufacture cardboard cores and tubes for industry packaging, label reels etc

See more at Victoria Garage & Victoria Hire Unit 45, Joseph Wilson Industrial Estate, Whitstable, Kent, CT5 3PS (01227 274 089)

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