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Homepage. This page: Old Garages and Petrol Stations, photos of rare survivors from the early days of motoring.

Surviving old garages, dealerships and petrol filling stations

Old old garages have long been an interest of mine, although it's only lately that I've started photographing them. To locate an unmolested garage or filling station is all too difficult nowadays, due the pace of developments and the high value of the land that olde worlde garages, which may no longer be in use, can command.
As such many fabulous old garages have been cleared to allow yet more out-of-town shopping centres to be thrown up. Such is progress. So my plan with this page of my classic motoring website is to include images, as and when I get them, of garage buildings which have stood the test of time, whether they are still being put to their original use, or now house a completely different business. If you can add to this gallery of surviving motor trader buildings, please email them over to me (preferably jpeg format) with a brief description. Once you've done looking at these garages, you might be interested to look at the period motoring advertisements I've scanned in and featured on the motor trade advertisements pages, or a selection of stylish old billheads and invoices that relate to garages in the 1920s and 1930s, which appear on my miscellaneous automobilia / collectables pages.
Updates
Steve once again has been out with his camera, and sent over photos of a small garage that he found heading out of Barmouth in Wales (good hunting ground for old service stations it seems!), and a pair of automotive buildings (filling station, and coach operator's garage) that sit either side of the A386 in sunny Devon. While riding on a bus past the former Barton's garage in Plymouth, he spotted the original foundation stone, set in 1930, commemorating the official opening of this fine ex-Morris Dealership by Sir William Morris no less, March 31st 1930. I've now added this picture to the Barton's page.
The other Barton's garage in Plymouth, at Colin Campbell Court, is facing a grim future thanks to some local plans to level the building, to be replaced with yet more boring modern buildings. Details on that garage's page, plus some more photographs. Sadly, if the building does get demolished, a combination of neglect and the local planning office, will succeed in doing what the Luftwaffe failed to do.

Garages seen in England

  An old service station due to be demolished Audley, North Staffs.
Photographed early in 2008, a roadside service station just a few miles West of Stoke-On-Trent, in the small village of Audley. Sadly the garage building was up for sale when the picture was taken, and the site was re-developed for housing shortly afterwards.
  A nice old garage in Cheadle Cheadle, Staffs.
Seen in 2006, Central Garage which is situated in the small town of Cheadle, in Staffordshire.
  A very early filling station in Staffordshire Denstone.
If ever there was a candidate worthy of heritage lottery funding, this must surely be it? A small roadside filling station like this, surviving into the 21st century, is incredibly rare.

Update: Sadly this lovely old building was burnt down late 2006 :-(
  Old service station in Sussex East Dean, Chichester.
Another surviving Service Station, when 'service' meant more than just taking your money while sat in the warm behind a till.
  An original garage still in use Hanmer.
This great old garage is still in use by relatives of the gent who set it up in 1917.
  One-time garage in Cheshire Kelsall, Cheshire.
A reminder to olden days when small country garages retailing motor spirit (petrol!) were commonplace in villages across the land. There is still a garage building set back from the road, plus the building seen in this photo. Only the classic old petrol pumps, which once would have been adorned by illuminated oil company globes (eg Shell, Russian Oil Products, BP and so on), give the game away. Sadly they are in pretty poor condition. The old Jag was mine, by the way - photographed Feb 2002.
  Old garage in Lamerton Lamerton.
Not much has changed at this old garage down in the South West of England.
  Mary Tavy garages Mary Tavy, Devon..
Two interesting garages located on the A386 in Devon. One a former petrol filling station, and the other still in use as a coach garage.
 
  Another old Cheshire garage Northwich, Cheshire.
Few of the surviving older garages are made of wood, so this example must be one of very few that are still standing now. Photographed in 2003.
 
  Garage in Northwich Cheshire Northwich, Cheshire.
This historic garage building overlooks the River Weaver in Northwich, Cheshire (UK). It must date back to the 1920s if not before, and still has many of its original vintage features, not least the fabulous stained glass lettering above the 2 doors announcing that this building is (was) a garage, probably a dealership, way back in the inter-war years.
Now it is a trendy bar, although fortunately the original design of the building can clearly be seen still. Photo taken Feb 2002.
  Garage facade in Northwich Cheshire Northwich, Cheshire.
A closer view of the stained glass frontage on this historic motor car dealership building - much nicer than a modern neon job I think, and very well preserved.
 
  An old motor engineers building Northwich (Barnton?), Cheshire.
This garage still survives somewhere nr Northwich in Cheshire, we used to live not far from here so a journey in the Standard would often see us driving past one or two retro garages dotted around the countryside. Exciting stuff!
  Former garage building in Oswestry, Shropshire Oswestry.
An imposing building formerly used as Aswestry Motor Garage.
  Olde garage nr Tavistock Peter Tavy village.
A simple garage building that probably dates to the 1920s or 1930s at a guess.
  Former garage in Plymouth Plymouth, Colin Campbell Court.
The former Bartons Garage in Plymouth (first of two).
  Former Morris cars agent in Plymouth Plymouth, Mutley Plain.
A stunning art deco building, at one time a Morris cars dealership in Plymouth.
  Former garage in Plymouth Plymouth.
What at one-time was the first self-service petrol station in the UK.
  Garage in Port Isaac Port Isaac.
A large garage cum workshop still in use in Cornwall.
  Car dealership located at Prees, nr Whitchurch in Shropshire Prees Heath, Shrops.
A great old dealership cum workshop, still used for its original purpose. It makes a change to see somewhere like this being preserved, rather than being bulldozed to make way for more identikit modern housing schemes.
  Bradbury & Brown garage Rugeley Rugeley, Staffs.
Photographed in 2006, the former Bradbury & Brown Ford garage located in Rugeley, Staffordshire (since demolished).
  Former garage in St Mawes, Cornwall St Mawes, Cornwall.
Two interesting photos of a former garage premises situated on the harbour in St Mawes, now home to a boat repair business but retaining four old Shell petrol pumps on its forecourt.
  Large garage seen in Worcestershire Upton Upon Severn.
An imposing garage building still used for the sale of petrol, and crane hire. A number of interesting commercial vehicles were also in residence.
  Garage in Woodville, Derbys Woodville.
Dating to the 1930s, The Clock Garage on the A511 south east of Burton upon Trent at Woodville.

Garages seen in Wales

  Garage near Barmouth in Wales Barmouth area.
Another great old garage seen by Steve, regular contributor to these pages.

This particular service station is located on the road out of Barmouth, heading towards Dolgellau.
  Early filling station seen on the Llanberis road out of Caernarfon Caernarfon area.
We spotted this garage in 2006 on the road out to Llanberis (I think!). It dates to the time before petrol pumps were generally available, and fuel was distributed in 2 gallon tins.

The petrol pumps on view would have been added to this filling station in the 40s or 50s.
  Garage in Cardigan Cardigan.
A late-1940s Gilbarco pump is spotted outside the old Pioneer Garage in Cardigan, Pembrokeshire.
  Pritchard's garage in Llandrindod Wells Llandrindod Wells.
A very smart former Rootes dealership, Pritchard & Sons' Central Garage in Llandrindod Wells.
  Old garage in North Wales Llandudno.
A cute little 1930s garage survivor in the popular Victorian holiday resort of Llandudno, on the North Wales coast.
  Garage entrance spotted in Porthmadog Porthmadog, Wales.
Spotted on the high street in this Welsh town, an entrance to a garage building, built on to the side of a hotel.
  Vintage garage seen in Welshpool Welshpool, Wales.
A fabulously original garage / petrol filling station, dating to the 1930s, found in a street in Welshpool.

Garages seen in Ireland

  Old garage in Ireland Lisdoonvarna.
Spotted by Steve, a great old garage in Ireland.


Some more old garage-related links of interest:

Catalogue for Bowser petrol pumps, 1922
Diary of a country garage, 1932/1933
Old domestic garages of Britain
Petrol & Oil company memorabilia.
Welland's Garage

Amersham garages (external link)
Birmingham garages (external link)


Historic garage scene!

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