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Homepage. This page: Unused headed paperwork from this Service-only garage in Somerset.
Coles Garage

Coles Garage - motor engineer

Another old billhead featured on oldclassiccar, this time for an olde worlde garage that was situated in Catcott, near Bridgwater in Somerset.

Unusually for the 1920s/1930s, this particular headed paper doesn't include an illustration of an old vehicle, rather sticking to just the information you need. The Coles Garage heading is attractive nonetheless. Whoever ran this garage certainly put the hours in - weekdays 8am til 8pm, Saturday 8am til 6pm, and Sunday 9am til 1pm. We're told straightaway that this is a service only garage, one that also gets involved with the supply of electrical items in addition to a choice of motor-related services. Many early garages got involved with fields other than motoring (cycling was a popular choice). This particular sheet of paper has survived in amazing condition, given that it must be 80 years old at least now. The list of services available at Coles Garage is listed down the lefthand side of the page, including:
  • "Castrol" high-pressure greasing
  • Day and night battery charging service
  • Electric plug cleaning & testing
  • Oxy-acetylene welding & cutting
  • Electric vulcanizing
  • First Class car for hire (seven seater)
  • Car washing & polishing
  • Electric lighting, heating & power installations
  • Agent for electric fires, irons, kettles, vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, lamps, cycles etc
  • Any make of radio receiver supplied, repairs a speciality
So they really were into a diverse range of services. In the 1920s car ownership was still the preserve of those with a bit of money to hand, so perhaps there weren't enough local car owners keeping Coles Garage busy at all times, which may explain why these early garages had to vary their services in order to keep the till ringing.

What is vulcanizing?

Vulcanizing, or vulcanising, has nothing to do with Mr Spock or Star Trek, but rather the repair of punctured tyres (or the tube within). Vulcanisation is literally the joining of sulphur with rubber by means of heat. The rubber will acquire a certain level of hardness, but still retaining a sufficient amount of elasticity, or flexibility. The mention of vulcanizing in the context of an old motor garage will refer to the repair of tyres, where the rubber is, to all intents and purposes, 'welded' through the gentle application of heat, to repair punctures or damage to the rubber. Such repairs would be made using a vulcaniser, a machine that applied both heat and pressure to the area being repaired, to effect a repair. A picture of a Romac Vulcaniser can be seen in the vintage motor advertisements section here at oldclassiccar.

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