(C) R. Jones 2013.
G. Linter's Motor Works - Agents for Overland Cars.
This superb view of a garage in the 1920s was sent over by Nigel, who scanned some of the motoring-related photographs that he turned up in a family album. The location is London Road, Redhill in Surrey. The garage is George Linter and Sons, and seemed to cater for many motorists' requirements. First and foremost they were a sales agent for the Overland motor-car. Before moving into car sales, Linters sold bicycles from the Linters Cycle Works, the main building visible in this photograph. Many early garage businesses started out this way. As the popularity of the motor-car grew, many of these cycle sales and repair shops moved to selling and servicing motor-cars, at a time when most cars needed all the help they could get to keep them reliable. George Linter was the proprietor, the 3 sons were Edward, Sydney and Nigel's father in law, Arthur.
A close look at this photograph throws up some interesting detail. I've not been able to identify the tourer parked at the roadside (one recent suggestion is that it might be a Standard 'Kenilworth'), but a little further up a motorcycle can be seen receiving a drop of motor spirit (petrol) from the kerbside petrol pump, possibly a Bowser. The old 'Cycles For Sale or Hire' and Raleign signs are still visible, from the building's earlier days, and have been added to with advertisements for North British Clincher Tyres, CAV (Lucas commercial vehicle) electrical components, 'Cars and Vans For Hire', 'Agents for Overland Cars' and also 'Agents for the 8hp Rover Car', a small and affordable air-cooled motor-car, photos of which can be seen here. 'G. Linter and Sons Motor Engineers' would have been able to turn their hands to most vehicle repairs, where ingenuity and a proper understanding of engineering principles would go a long way in rectifying most mechanical maladies. Components would be removed, tested, dismantled and re-furbished prior to repair - somehow a lot more sensible than simply throwing a sub-component (eg a starter motor, or carburettor) away and installing a new one. Just visible to the right, and riding into shot, is a bicycle.
Flicking through a copy of the A.A. Handbook for 1928, confirms that G. Linter & Sons were situated at numbers 42-44 London Road, their telegraphic address was 'Linter, 76, Redhill', and their telephone number was 76 (!). They had garage accomodation for 12 cars, or 30 motorcycles. They were also on-call at night, should a motorist run into problems, and open Sundays during the summer. This publication also confirms that Linters had local competition in the garage trade, with a company called J. Chalmers and Sons Ltd, trading from the Redhill Garage, 50-54 High Street. They could accomodate upto 50 cars, so must have been of some size. Does anyone have a photograph of this business too? Under the heading of Redhill, it gives mention of a 'Ten Mile Speed Limit', although whether this means a 10mph speed limit in town, or perhaps advises of a speed limit being applied within a 10 mile radius of the town centre, I'm not sure.
I don't know this area at all, so I had to have a nosey around online to find out about how this location looks now. I found this site, which details the changing history of London Rd in Redhill, and even has a couple more photographs of Linter's Garage. Sadly the site of this Overland dealership cum garage has been lost, due to the great god of re-development. In fact it was quite sad looking at this site, comparing how the road used to look, with all manner of characterful buildings and shops, to how it does now. It seems the whole area was re-developed in the 1970s and 1980s, replacing Victorian (and older) buildings with hideous red-brick 80s edifices. Maybe it'll happen, but I doubt many people will look back at these modern monstrosities in years to come with much affection. I can only imagine what the locals made of losing so much of their town's character, in order to gain some bland office blocks and sprawling supermarket eyesores.
Two nice old photos showing a car prepared by Linters for a parade or carnival in Redhill, can be seen here.
Update - an earlier photograph of the Motor Garage.Nigel has been doing some more research into this old garage, and has turned up the photograph reproduced below. It shows the George Linter agency in an earlier time, before the installation of various new signs and petrol pumps that are evident in the picture at the top of this page. At this point the garage looked very much like an engineering workshop & cycle agency, that had recently diversified into the maintenance and repair of motorcars. Signs for Rover Cycles and Singer Cycles, plus Dunlop Motor Tyres can all be identified, and a close-up view of this photo also shows a sign for Minerva Motors. In addition to a line-up of cycles available for hire, are a couple of very early (veteran) cars, one registered P 2873. Nigel wonders if they are examples of 1903 Panhard & Levassor and a 1903 5 h.p. Humberette, but perhaps a V.C.C. person could shed light on these two machines?
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