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Author Topic: Chatham Motor Company  (Read 7875 times)

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Offline Del

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Re: Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 12:31:35 »
Hi Merc. Thanks for your message. The name of the person is Peter Cooper who worked in one of the offices just off the main entrance to the parts department. In his spare time he used to change the fascia letters on the old cinema ABC at the Luton arches end of Chatham High Street. I often used to see him on a step ladder changing the " film now showing" signs. Never get away with it now, what with health and safety. From memory he lived in Rainham. The people who worked in the parts department were Harry Beale, a spectacled fellow, with an unusual voice. Derek Foster who lives near me and who I see regularly. He married a nice Thai lady and has young children despite now being in his mid seventies. David Widdows who I didn't know much about. Rodney Ward who ended up being a parts manager at Hidsons Honda which was the last time I saw him a few years back. Richard (Dickie) Bird who was, I believe in charge of the parts in the actual bins but David Stevens was the parts manager based upstairs next to his assistant Brian Edmeads. When I first started there in 1966 I worked with them in the stock control office and it was there that I spoke to Peter Cooper about my interest in buying a mini as my first car when I passed my test first time in 1967. It was him who came back to me as he had spoken to his contact at Sheppey Autos, Richard Johnson, who would bring over a car they had in stock for, I believe, trading. This was a 1959 mini in white, 500HKO, which I purchased for 50 and had resprayed in Maroon B with an old English Ivory White roof by a chap, Harry Pursan, a lovely Asian man who had a little blue van, possibly a standard van, and he kept his puppy old English sheepdog in it when he parked it around the rear of the premises in the staff/customer car park on a daily basis. He fed it and watered it and walked it about when in between jobs, tea breaks and lunch times. Obviously there were other people who came and went, Eric Challis who lived in a cottage near the old pumping statin on the old Nashenden Lane and Alan Treacher, whose daughter Sue I took to the cinema once. She was 21 and I was 17. Both of us were very nave. She lived in I think College Road in Gillingham. I went there two or three times but cannot remember if this was the road name. I reserve the right to let you know if this is incorrect! They were god times. All of us in the parts used to go Bowling in what is now camping international before which was a cinema next to the fire station on Watling Street near the Old Ash Tree pub.
Richard Framm and Ken Baker worked the front parts counters between them. Richard on the left counter and Ken on the right counter. All of the staff in parts took turns in answering parts enquiries on the telephone depending who was or wasn't busy. Derek Foster and Rodney Ward mainly concentrated on serving the mechanics at the workshop counter around the back but then took it in turns to serve at dinner times on the front counter. Other than Richard Johnson who I continue to know from Fairways and Beadles days, I used to take a lot of inter company parts enquiries as either Sue (who married a parts chap from G Wells in Strood) or Annette Decaville who lived in Palmerstone Road, Chatham (and who I also took to the cinema once, she married a chap called Roy when I worked at Drake and Fletcher in Maidstone) both who managed the switchboard used to put calls through to me after exhausting the parts chaps downstairs when they were very busy. Subsequently I used to chat to all the sub dealers locally and probably spoke to your goodself many a time. If I think of any more names then I shall post them. Good to hear from someone who remembers those days and place. Cheers.                   

Offline Derek45

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Re: Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2015, 15:24:37 »
Hello.
With reference Del message Chatham Motor Co. I worked at Sheppey Auto Garage from 1959 until it closed in 1980.C.M C were our main agents for Vauxhalls and often used to speak to their parts department.
You mentioned Peter Cooper, did you mean Geoff Cooper who was a salesman at S.A.G, as was Richard Johnson who I knew well, took his wedding photos?
Did you know John Miles (son of Harry) who owned Sheppey Autos, died earlier this year?
           Derek. Ash.

Offline pr1uk

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Re: Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2013, 14:02:19 »
I remember this place well it was a land mark for meeting others or just say meet you at pie stall up the road Railway St that is. Also remember a chap (old to me then) who drank in The Rose In The Valley my local then but can't remember his name now but a nice chap.
To be contented in life you must learn the difference between what you want and what you need
-Peter

Offline smiler

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Re: Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 08:00:36 »
Don`t say much for Vauxhall's  :) :)

Offline Del

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Re: Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2013, 22:32:37 »
Sit back for a long memories read!
I started working at Chatham Motor Company at Railway Street, Chatham in 1966 in the stock control office upstairs, next to the accounts department. My boss, the parts manager, was David Stevens and his assistant was Brian Edmeades.
The downstairs parts department was looked after by Richard (Dickie) Bird with partsmen Rodney Ward (he was eventually parts manager of Hidsons at the beginning of Rainham High Street when it was either Honda or Kia), Derek Foster (who lives along the road from me in Borstal), David Widdows, Ken Baker on the parts counter on the right as you entered the parts department from the front and Richard Fram who worked on the left hand side of the counter.   
A chap called Fred Mannington owned it then and his son (I think his name was Brian) owned Shirley Service Station on the Maidstone Road entrance to Davis Estate opposite Rochester airport. I believe that it was named Shirley Service Station after his wife (?).
It is possible that a partner of Fred Mannington was the accountant Mr Blake (?) at Chatham Motor Company.
I well remember George Adams who worked with Brian in the workshop office.
Don't remember many of the mechanics but one who stands out well was a guy called Harry Pursan who I eventually persuaded to respray my first car, purchased from Sheppey Autos after one of the accounts guys, Peter Cooper, called around all his contacts for me looking for a mini which I decided I wanted when I first saw them in 1959.
Harry took my car up to the body/spray shop which was only accessible by driving it up a ramp that was OUTSIDE the main building, rubbed it down after his lunch one Saturday, primed it then resprayed it from White to BMC maroon B with an Old English Ivory White  contrasting roof colour.
The registration number was 500HKO, 1st registered in August 1959, a super de luxe no less, and Richard Johnson, the guy who sold it to me ended up being a Director at Fairways of Gillingham many years later then Beadles Dartford.
Harry had an old Morris 8 van I think it was, and he purchased an Old English Sheep dog puppy which he left in his van all day at the back of the workshop in the car park and regularly went out to water it and feed it at various intervals during the day.
Peter Attwood was also one of the account guys and he sold me his Accurist watch that his mum and dad gave him when he graduated into the RAF.
 I used to wash his then new Austin/Morris 1300 in Harvest Gold, JFN111D, when I finished work on a Saturday lunchtime.
Other people I remember was Mrs Arthur, Pat, Joy (who married Clive Biller from R Biller and Co in Strood), Elaine Clifton who married
David Baker, a Welsh lass Yvonne Hollamby, Avril Gillingham (that was her name and not where she lived) and Irene.
I know what happened to Elaine but have no idea where the others went or are.
Sorry but more memories to follow but am now running out of battery!

Offline smiler

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Re: Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2011, 17:10:59 »
May be mistaken but I think they also had garage in Gravesend 60s

broadsword

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Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2011, 20:04:56 »
Firstly let me comment about Chatham Motor company and the picture of the site above by Merc.

I remember this site very well as my father was George W Adams and he was Service Manager of Chatham Motor Company, a Vauxhall/Bedford dealership, a position he was proud to have worked his way up to from apprentice level. He was equally proud of his office and his name on the door. Other names that I recall from that time are Alec Blake and Brian Bottle.

A recentish article in Medway News was called "Pumping Petrol". "Pumping Petrol" was about the launch of EP Petrol in Chatham and a Saturday had been chosen for the pump attendants (yes pump attendants) to be assisted by bikini clad girls. During the preceding week Chatham Motor Company advertised the fact by having a brand new electric blue Chevrolet Impala convertible driven around the town with the top down and a bikini wearing manekin in the back seat. I remember this very well as my father had this role on one day and brought the car home before doing his stint at the wheel. The Impala was of the old suffix 'C' reg and therefore this dates the event to 1965.

I remember the Chatham Motor Company buildings extremely well too, having spent many hours there. The front of the forecourt, where the Wickes car park is with its burger van, was the car sales frontage and behind the pumps the "art deco" style building had a central shutter door to the main garage area with offices to the left and petrol sales to the right with a showroom on the corner. Going into the garage through the shutter door, to the right on the wall was a large Vauxhall Gryphon logo, in front of this was elevating ramp, round to the left was the main workshop and my father`s office. Behind the main building was a terraced car park and another barn sized building where the houses of Chartwell Court now stand.

After over 25 years of loyal service, my father left the Company after a dispute over holiday entitlement. Sadly he succumbed to cancer 5 years ago.


merc

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Chatham Motor Company
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2010, 13:54:38 »
Now the site of Wickes, Railway Street/New Cut, Chatham.


 

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