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Homepage. This page: A brick-built garage, typical of the type of building seen in many towns and villages.

Wallbutton's Garage, Burnham-on-Sea.

Slowly but surely, the number of original photographs that feature old garages in them is increasing on the site. This super photograph was sent over by Jenny, whose father was himself a motor engineer, and set up Welland's Garage in 1934. Wallbutton's Garage was situated just a short drive away from the Welland's establishment, in the seaside town of Burnham-on-Sea. Three gents, in classic 1920s apparel, are shown stood with a vintage tourer in the entrance to the Wallbutton workshop. Signwriting, applied to the building's frontage, confirms that C. Wallbutton - Motor Engineer, operated from this location.
The identification of the car has caused not a little head-scratching. Conversation on the VSCC forum has pointed to it being an example of 15hp Straker-Squire, produced by a British motor manufacturer that, until the end of WW1, was based in Bristol, hence not too far away from Burnham. Its AE 603 registration is a Bristol number, from the same series of registrations that the 1914 Straker-Squire TT racing cars bore. The designer of the Straker-Squire was Roy Fedden, later credited with designing many examples of Bristol aero engine. Could that be Fedden, stood to the left of the car as we see it? It has been suggested as a possibility.
(Please click the thumbnail.)
Wallbutton's Garage in Burnham-on-Sea
Not only is the car unusual, but the large circular object bearing the legend "Weekly Dispatch" raises a few questions. Presumably it was an advertising gimmick for the London-based newspaper of the same name (renamed the Sunday Dispatch, in 1928). If this is the case, it dates the photograph to no later than 1928. Jenny mentioned that the young girl shown in the car, died in 2012 and was in her eighties, which ties in with this photo dating to, say, the mid-1920s.
Reading around turned up a photograph of Wallbutton's Garage that dates to the 1950s. By this time the garage was a much larger building, incorporating a showroom and with four petrol pumps standing to attention between the building and raised borders that ran alongside a pavement. According to Jenny, the site of the building is now a car park on Oxford Street. When the garage was finally demolished, flats were built on the site. Then somebody realised that they'd built the flats directly over the old fuel storage tanks. As a consequence, the flats were demolished and the site turned over to being a car park instead.
Visit page 17 in the vintage gallery, or return to the gallery's main index page where hundreds of other images, including several of pre-war garages, may be found.

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