In this photo you can see our breakdown wagon, that was for fetching broken down cars and haulage vehicles. We would go and sit out here and have a tea break or our lunch – you can see the tea jug in the photo. I am on the left at the back and opposite me is Mick Tingay, next to him is Phil? And then Charly is at the front right; sat next to me is Les.
The garage was by the canal. When we needed to test an inner tube for a puncture we used to go round to the canal and put the tube in the canal to test to see where the puncture was. That’s when I saw Mary (my wife) at the window of Wilson and Stafford when she worked in the box room.
Another important employer in the town was Dafferns Haulage in the Coleshill Road. They employed quite a few drivers, and approached Bert Jeffreys, and asked him if he would take on some conversion work on his fleet of Bedford Tipper Lorries, they wanted to know if he could install Perkins diesel engines into his fleet of petrol Bedfords which were quite heavy on petrol.
So Bert said he would have a go, and this was quite ground breaking work at the time, especially for a small garage. We did not know of anyone else who was doing this at the time. We started removing the Bedford petrol engines, then the chassis had to be reinforced with heavy duty steel plate because the Perkins diesels were quite a lot heavier. then we installed the new engines which were quite a snug fit. After testing we delivered it to Dafferns who tried it out and were pleased with the result, so we got the contract to convert some more for them.