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See Homepage. This page: Paperwork for the purchase of a 9hp Wolseley motor-car in 1935.

Ray Powell Ltd, Leytonstone.

By the time that the 1970s had rolled into view, Ray Powell Ltd were occupying a spacious garage in Tottenham Hale (a poster featuring their establishment can be seen on this page of the site). These documents though are from the pre-war era, 1935 to be precise, and relate to the part-exchanging of a 1931 Singer Junior against a brand new Wolseley 9 saloon by the Hassell family. Two photographs of the 1930's Singer can be seen here.
The Wolseley was bought in February 1935 from Powell's dealership in London. The paperwork lists three separate addresses for this large firm: Fairlop Road (Leytonstone), Romford Road (Forest Gate), and Grove Green Road (Leytonstone), the former two premises being showrooms, while the latter was their head office and service station.
These items of paperwork record the purchase of the Wolseley, and also document the new owner's correspondence with the Automobile Association (AA), from whom a new member's badge had been ordered.
Ray Powell car sales in the 1930s

Wolseley order.

The order form for the Wolseley was handwritten - in pencil - on 8th February 1935. Finished in green with matching upholstery, the base price of the car was 184 0s 0d, which once a few extras had been added, came to 187 19s 9d. As the '31 Singer was being part-exchanged against the Wolseley, an allowance of 56 0s 0d was made, bringing the total payment down to 131 19s 0d. A number of terms and conditions are described on the reverse side of the order form. They cover the purchaser should any woes be encountered with their new vehicle, and if the price of the vehicle should go up in between ordering it, and making final payment. One condition that I've not heard of before was a clause whereby the purchaser must agree to "... not exhibit any of the goods at any Exhibition in the United Kingdom, or enter it in any competition prohibited by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd". How enforceable would this have been?
Despite the number of documents recording the sale of this car, not one mentions its registration, as a result its identity will remain a mystery.
Order form for the new Wolseley saloon in 1935
On 14th February a credit note acknowledging the inclusion of the Singer in the deal was typed out on Ray Powell Ltd paperwork. The firm was East London distributor of Humber, Hillman, and Rover cars, in addition to being approved agents for Morris, Austin, Standard and Singer cars. They'd also be happy to supply new Commer commercial vehicles, while servicing was also on offer.
Credit note for the 1931 Singer car
The final invoice for the car is in a similar style to the credit note shown above, although it also refers to the products of SS, Studebaker, Daimler, Lanchester, Riley, Triumph and Vauxhall in its heading. An extra 5 pounds was charged for "safety glass", with fifteen shillings being added for number plates, and a further 2 pounds for delivery to Mr Hassell's residence at 287 High Road in Leyton.
Final invoice for the new car
What of the addresses that are included in the company's letterheadings? 115 Fairlop Road in Leytonstone appears to have been used in recent times by Leytonstone Station Cars, but other references are vague at best. There is though a photo of the site c1990 on this flickr page.
321 Romford Road in Forest Gate is in use with a business called Pindi Motors, while I've not been able to confirm the current status of 479 Grove Green Road in Leytonstone, the location of Powell's office and service station.
287 High Road in Leyton, the address of the Wolseley's new owner in 1935, is now a retail location with a flat above it. In recent years it appears to have been a photo studio, and also a surgery.
My thanks to Tamara for sending over these documents.
Update: Ann Barrett dropped me a line, having worked there herself in the early 1950s:
"I have just found your site whilst looking for something else, and like the page concerning Ray Powell Ltd. It was good to see, as I worked for the Company in the office about 1952, at the Romford Road branch. At that time Mr. Ray, as we had to call him, had a car hire business a few shops along from the main showroom. The main company, with large workshop at the rear, was managed by his son Stuart Powell. This main company was then called R.P. Powell Motors Ltd. If you know of any photographs of the place, I would be thrilled to see them. What memories this brings back to me. Thank you for listening to me rambling on."
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