Archive for the ‘Do you know?’ Category

How to stay safe at home….

You always feel safe at home. Maybe you get your gas boiler serviced regularly, maybe you have smoke detectors, with new batteries fitted regularly? Above all you get competent professionals to install your new cooker, and also the new gas hob in the kitchen.

When was that done, when was your gas supply system checked? If you were in rented accommodation, the landlord is legally obliged to have it checked every year. But if you own your own home, there’s no obligation to have anything checked on a regular basis. Even if you have lived there 30 years. But things can go wrong.

Take your own precautions

Yes I did that. I installed a carbon monoxide alarm system, alongside the smoke detector, to check whether the gas boiler flue had been blocked, and CO was building up in the boiler area. I installed a flammable gas alarm to monitor the kitchen, in case a gas ring was inadvertently not switched off, or had a fault. Not expensive, maybe £30 each.

For many years the flammable gas alarm worked fine – in other words it just sat there, and never said a word. Then it started going off, whenever there was any wine added to the stew on the hob, whenever there was any bread dough rising in a low oven, and whenever the windows were sprayed with a solvent cleaner. Eventually the alarm started going off so often – for example when the kettle boiled and steam was seen rising past the detector, that this was the final straw. It must be worn out, or faulty, it is just giving too many false alarms. So the gas detector was discarded.

Smart metering

OK I’m a real geek, I like the idea of monitoring the gas and electricity consumption, so readily joined in the offer for Scottish Power to install new “Smart” meters free of charge. Its part of a Government scheme, but means the meter readers don’t trample all over your home. That is the real benefit.

Meters installed aok, but just the final safety test – oh dear, there seems to be a slow gas leak somewhere in your system, its not major, but it falls outside permitted levels. Now I have to call out a ‘Gas Safe’ engineer to check the system, and have to pay for that (!) .

You know the problem, for the first two appointments no-one turns up. For the third, he is called away for urgent safety checks on a tower block, otherwise the tenants will all need to be evacuated. Finally, Saturday afternoon, I get an engineer to visit: this is Simon from JPS Plumbing and Heating in Winchester.

A hob problem

Simon very quickly locates the area of the problem, it’s in the supply to the ten year old gas hob. If the leak is in the hob itself, it would not be economical to repair. There are only two joints underneath to check, so Simon lies upside down in the oven space to feel the state of each one. Now the leak checks show the leak rate is smaller, and within the allowable tolerance – only a sixth of what can be permitted.

He is actually surprised to have made such a difference, compared to the initial leak test, so re-checks the joints. Now the supply pipework where it joins to the hob falls away completely. The steel 90 degree bend feeding the hob has sheared off between the thread holding the pipework and the bend. Although this newly created ‘nut’ unscrews, it immediately falls apart in two halves, in what could be described as a brittle fracture.

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This is supposed to be a 90 angle steel union. The thread holds the fitting on the copper pipe down onto the blue looking seal. The whole thread has cracked off, maybe its a very short length of thread, but it was not strong enough to take the stud fitting on the hob.

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Side view of the fitting, where the hob would be above. The cracks and failures are obvious.

The photos above show the union, with its broken thread, and the crack around the pipe, which had obviously been growing, and leaking, over the years. The false alarms the gas detector had given were just saying “Whatever else you are doing, its made the gas that’s leaking exceed the thresh-hold to trip my alarm”. Even the steam from the kettle was just making the gas rise faster on a route past the detector.

It would seem the elbow had been twisted too tight onto the hob, necessary to get the entry angle for the supply pipe to fit in the right direction. Maybe it was pulled too far on installation?  Or the sealing washer (the blue bit) was not flexible/compressible enough?

Lessons learned….

That union could have failed catastrophically, at any time, but maybe in the middle of the night, and filled up the kitchen with gas. When the boiler ignited at 7am, it would have had a willing flame ready to set off a really big bang.

Listen to your alarm sensors, and don’t ignore persistent false alarms! Buy a new sensor if the old one seems to be getting unreliable.

Get your gas supply around the house checked regularly – how do you know that even a properly installed hob – like we believed ours was – has not developed a fault, over 10 years?

Call a reputable plumber, a Gas Safe engineer who knows what he’s doing, like Simon from JPS Plumbing! Don’t just use a guy down the road who’s installed a few gas fires….

Postscript – the Hob itself

It is very likely that the 90 degree bend in steel that failed was supplied as an integral part of the hob itself, and not as a component by the original gas installation engineer. The hob was a PROline PGH460GL-U black glass top hob, with four burners, purchased via Currys. ProLine is reported by UKwhitegoods.co.uk as a trading name/brand owned by the retailer Comet, who sourced Eastern European or Chinese domestic appliances at the lower end of the market, and sold these via many other retail outlets. Particularly after the break-up of Kingfisher Group and transfer of the Comet business to Kesa, the quality of their product supply was not good.  The products were also still sold through the Darty chain of shops in France. This was apparently from 2006 onwards: the manual that came with this hob is dated 2007 and was originated by Kesa in Hull. PROline products are no longer sold, the business has closed.

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A ProLine gas hob of the PGH460GL-U type described here

Alresford Crafts: Dolls and soft toys for Collectors and Children.

scan186For around 25 years Alresford Crafts was a major business venture in the town, making dolls and soft toys. Perhaps more than any other, this business promoted the name of Alresford to consumers across the world, until 1992! John and Margaret Jones started trading from the two lower floors of the Town Mill, a building at the bottom of Mill Hill, Alresford, which dates from 1189. Water flowing out of the pond, and under the bridge at the lower end of Broad Street, used to fall down a vertical shaft inside the mill building and there rotate a turbine, which could drive the hoist and other machinery: then the water flowed under the mill floor and downstream.  Following an accident with a tree-trunk ramming down this shaft and smashing the turbine housing, causing a flood in the basement, the mill was modernized in 1972, when the stepped waterfalls were introduced, keeping the river outside the building: the basement became more habitable!

DSC01962a softtoysWhen John and Margaret moved into the mill, in 1964, their first business was that of a mail order gifts company, mainly involved in Christmas gifts. In order to expand they began co-operating with a lady from Salisbury, who used a network of home workers around there: eventually they took the business over from this lady, in about 1972, when more home workers were recruited around Alresford. In the first five years or so, Alresford Crafts just made soft toys, designed by Margaret Jones, and the business grew and became known for quality hand-made toys: the work was brought in-house as a method of ensuring this quality. Mrs Jones says the Brighton Toy Fair made an enormous difference, with lots of orders, but it alerted a lot of the competition, like Steiff (teddy bears), to their new materials.

Verena Harper worked there during 1976, as a checker and finisher, and particularly remembers the machinist girls making the toy otters had problems, because their tails seemed to twist round. Verena will be pleased to see the otters in the Alresford Museum collection seem OK. However, Mrs Jones was also interested in making dolls, and was convinced that a quality manufacturer in England could produce porcelain dolls for collectors worldwide.

DSC01991 alr crafts dollsSo in 1977 Alresford Crafts started planning a workshop where doll’s heads, hands and feet could be produced. Initially these were made of bone china, but then production switched to using porcelain. They were proud of producing their dolls wholly in England, and did not call their dolls ‘China dolls’. In fact the company adopted a logo that just used the word ‘Alresford’ – and so had to add a subheading of “…say it Alls-ford” to help with the problem of pronunciation, maybe particularly for the Chinese and Japanese people, when trying to order the dolls! The staff who made the soft toys found the transition to doll making, with their soft bodies, and the doll’s clothes, fairly easy. The first baby dolls were produced in 1978, and in 1979 boy and girl dolls were added, with 11 different styles. Each year saw fresh designs of doll, and soon the business moved to larger premises in another mill, a corn storage mill in the Railway Station Yard in Alresford, known as Station Mill. Next to the old Police Station, this is likely to be converted into retirement flats shortly!

Production at the Station Mill

scan188The Station Mill is a four storey building, and was used for producing both the stuffed toys and the dolls. On the ground floor a carding machine combed and straightened the fibres of non-inflammable synthetic material used for stuffing the toys, and the bodies for these animals were cut out in fabric by machine. On the second floor the bodies were sewn together on machines. On the top floor under the rafters the bodies were stuffed and the remaining seams sewn by hand. The toys then descended via a long chute to the ground floor, and were taken to the Town Mill for inspection, packing and despatch – going to children and collectors all over the world. Even by 1980 Alresford Crafts quoted official Distributors in Australia, Japan, France, Germany, The Netherlands and the USA. The company won design awards for their products in the USA and Japan: at one stage they even had their own warehouse in the USA, with their own sales staff.

The first floor was devoted to making and dressing the dolls. Normally Margaret Jones designed the dresses and cut the material out. On one side of the workroom the “Dress-makers” made the under-garments, dresses and bonnets:  in addition home-based workers were again recruited, this time to sew the doll’s clothes. Before working full time at the Town Mill from 1986, Jenny Lawes was one of these home workers, and remembers being paid five pence each for sewing a pair of doll’s pants!

scan185Production and painting of the porcelain heads, lower arms and legs was transferred in 1982 from near the Town Mill to a new Ceramics Department, located in the single storey building next to the Station Mill, which was run by Colin Larkin. Eventually the whole business employed around 35 people, including the home-workers. Most of the dolls were fairly large, typically 60cms, or two feet, tall.

Famous toys from Alresford

Today the Alresford Crafts soft toys and dolls are well known, and often sold on internet auction sites, as collector’s items. The Alresford Museum has acquired a collection of these soft toys, including the hedgehog, kangaroo (with a baby), Teddy bear, Polar bear, dinosaur and squirrel. One of the Alresford Crafts Teddy bears, known as a Honey Bear, was said to be unique in that it was designed to have a flat bottom, which made it easy to bend its legs and make it sit down properly, without having to lean against anything.

The Hand Of Fear pt4 102Another famous Alresford Crafts stuffed toy was the owl, which was produced in various styles and colour combinations. One of these, Oliver, the dark brown owl with large eyes, made a guest appearance on the BBC’s “Dr Who” programme, in Episode four of ‘The Hand of Fear’ as Sarah-Jane’s owl, when she leaves the Tardis: as yet we have not managed to find this particular version for our collection, but if you see one, let us know!

ET sceengrabs aaThe same owl appeared in the film ‘ET’, amongst the cuddly toys in Elliot’s wardrobe, which is where ET hides. Many thousands of this style of owl were produced.

Jenny Lawes also remembers Alresford Crafts producing the first versions of Pudsey, the BBC’s “Children-in-Need” bear, with the eye patch: these Alresford prototypes, built to a BBC design, had the bandage over the other eye (his left eye!). There was other work for the BBC, one presenter on children’s TV had a lamb puppet from Alresford Crafts, and the company was featured in a “Made in Britain” film, and in a Pebble Mill report. The mill also hosted visits from Angela Rippon, and even Kate Adie, but not when the latter was a war correspondent!

Alresford Crafts Dolls

scan187Maybe not so well known, except to doll collectors, are the Alresford Crafts dolls, and the first example found by the Museum was a clown, produced in 1981. Notable dolls made by Alresford Crafts included the Royal Baby dolls, celebrating the births of Prince William and Prince Henry. Such was the success of the first (the Prince William doll, a limited edition of 2500 in 1982) that the Prince Henry doll was also created to commemorate the birth of HRH Prince Henry of Wales (Harry). Cast in fine porcelain, and impressed on the neck ‘1984 Royal Baby RB2 Alresford’, (RB2 was a code for Royal Baby 2) the doll had blue glass eyes, painted features and a cloth body, and was dressed in a long cream satin robe with an overlay of lace, a matching bonnet and a pillow. Not quite what he looks like today, and there is not much evidence of red hair, in this model. Each doll was issued with a limited edition certificate, two catalogues and a swing tag. This baby doll measured 40.5cm (16″), and the robe was 71cm (28″) long.

prince henry alr craftsThe Alresford Museum has recently been lucky enough to obtain 25 Alresford Crafts dolls, collected over the period 1980-1983 by Mrs J.K.Gloyn of Taunton, and still in perfect condition in the original packaging. Included in these are the Prince William doll, and several other baby dolls, plus two boy dolls, called Patrick and Benjamin! The girl dolls are too numerous to mention, but all bear the initials of the people working there, who signed the back of the labels to show who made the clothes. The ceramic heads were marked and stamped with the initials of the workers who moulded, painted and completed the ceramics. The production staff were also involved in designing the outfits, and naming the dolls!

Later ventures

In 1982, in response to collectors’ requests for a fully pose-able jointed doll, Alresford Crafts introduced Mellissa (CD74) with a ball and socket jointed body made from a composite material – the head was still porcelain. Most of the other full sized dolls had a stuffed cloth body, upper arm and thigh: the exceptions were some of the baby dolls, particularly CD1/CD2 from 1979/80. The new style Mellissa doll was announced, at a price of £70, 40% higher than the average full sized doll, but were either never sold or quickly withdrawn, as Alresford Crafts were not happy with the quality/reliability.

DSC01967Later in the 1980s, a range of hand puppets and rag dolls were added to the Alresford Crafts doll collection, ie fully dressed dolls with soft bodies, heads and hands/feet. Apparently there was also some production of the black rag dolls previously described as ‘Gollywogs’, which was criticised from some quarters: the major market for these dolls was apparently to be found in export, to Nigeria.

Fiona

Fiona

Plus the factory produced other dolls under the trade name of ‘Margaret Jones Designer Dolls’: one of these was Fiona, a favourite of Jenny Lawes, who helped design and produce her outfit.

The recession of the 1980s, and the rapid growth of lower cost Chinese competition, made the volume of business turn down. The lead they had achieved with the softer filling in their soft toys was eroded by copycat products.

The Alresford Crafts business closed in 1992, with a major sale of the remaining stock, attended by most of the ladies of Alresford. Verena Harper remembers that much of the left-over stock of stuffed toys, mainly rats, guinea pigs and small owls, were given to the Alresford Christmas Tree Committee, to be used as presents for the children attending the Carol singing and Father Christmas evening on Broad Street that year.

STOP PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT!

Oliver the Owl

Oliver the Owl

A specimen of Ollie the owl, just over a foot high, has returned to Alresford from his temporary home up North – in Winsford, Cheshire. Ollie will be making a guest appearance in the Alresford Library display cabinet between now and Christmas, with lots more of the Alresford Crafts soft toys and dolls from our growing collection. So don’t forget to say hello as you collect your library books – unless of course he goes off with Dr Who and Sarah-Jane for another adventure in the meantime.

Now it is important to find some examples of the Alresford Crafts rag dolls for the Museum: and if possible even one of the “Gollywogs”! (Possibly we will be inundated with those emails from Nigeria, suggesting that this can be provided, for a relatively large up-front payment! The answer is ‘No’)

LATEST NEWS!

News as at January 2016: The Alresford Museum has received another collection of over 100 original stuffed toys and glove puppets made by Alresford Crafts: look out for the story and photos soon!

George Frost, a local photographer

scan061sepiaIn acquiring local articles for the Alresford Museum, many of these unearth snippets of local history. One such is a card from the Photographer “Geo Frost” of the West End Studio, Market Street, Alton and Alresford, Hants. While the address is relating to his Alton premises, obviously he considered himself as the local photographer for Alresford also.

The card is playing card sized, and presents a picture of a little girl (we presume it is a little girl, rather than a boy), holding what appears to be a doll, sitting on a low table, like a coffee table. The initial thought was that we should publish the picture to see if anyone recognised the little girl as one of their relations, but a little more research suggests another possible identity.

In the book “Alton, Hampshire: A History” by the local historian Jane Hurst, All Saints’ Church, in Butts Road Alton, is described as being built in 1873-74, and among other donations, the wrought iron chancel screen was provided by “Mr and Mrs George Frost (in memory of their daughter)” in 1894. Other research shows George Frost was still taking pictures in 1900, when he recorded the celebrations in the town over the relief of Mafeking.

scan062sepiaSo possibly this picture was taken by George and shows his daughter, prior to 1894, and at some time later she died prematurely. It would be relatively straightforward to use his daughter’s picture to promote his business, whereas it might be less easy to use a picture of another young girl in that way. The picture also shows the Masonic symbols fairly prominently on both sides.

Adding some confusion, the very small writing at the bottom on the back of the card, which is a good quality thick card, says “Marion.Imp.Paris” in inverted commas.

Maybe you have some George Frost pictures or postcards from this period? If so we would be delighted to see them, and if possible, copy them for our collection – many such local postcard views can be found on www.alresfordheritage.co.uk, which is accessible via the museum website, http://www.museum.alresford.org

Who stole the tramp’s head?

Last weekend the streets of Alresford were filled with many Scarecrows, in a competition organized by ‘Churches Together in Alresford’, and the sight of these figures by the roadside from the town boundaries and through the centre caused a lot of pleasure and amusement.

DSC01852abUnfortunately someone chose to steal the head from one handsome figure who was to be seen propping up the doorway beside the Naked Grape in West Street, obviously someone who had overdone the consumption of the grape juices, or hops. Maybe the person who stole the head on Friday night was equally intoxicated.

Come the morning light, maybe he, or his better half, might realize that this head was made with care from some family mementoes that are irreplaceable, so please see if it can be returned, or tell us where to find it.

All the Scarecrows gave a lot of people a lot of pleasure, so hopefully we can all look for any information that might counteract this sad aspect of the Community we live in….

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Further information has come to light:

head unnamedThe missing head looks rather like this –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This information was passed on from some concerned residents who were visiting the town, and apparently saw the incident, but whose position meant that they were unable to take any decisive action to apprehend those involved. They do not wish to give their names, to avoid any come back, but they sent a picture of themselves, via www.alresfordheritage.co.uk.

QE2 unnamed

 

Static railway carriages in Alresford

A challenge for you! Where have old railway carriages been used as dwellings or residences in Alresford?

We have reported on one such railway carriage, used as the Golf Course Clubhouse in around 1954, by the side of the first tee, across the road from the Cricketer’s pub. What we need here is any old photo of anyone in front of this clubhouse winning a trophy or whatever – maybe just drowning their sorrows!

Alresfordheritage.co.uk came up with this image of a well clad carriage on the grass opposite the Cricketer's!

Alresfordheritage.co.uk came up with this image of a well clad carriage on the grass opposite the Cricketer’s!

The next challenge is from around the same time, 1954, but has anyone any memories or photos of the railway carriages used at the top of the hill on Jacklyn’s Lane, near the old water tower? Pat Bentley used to deliver papers to a lady who lived in one of these carriages: who was she, and have you any photos?

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The photo above is said to be in Alresford: where is it? Who is the young schoolboy in his uniform? Please let us know, particularly if this was you!

The Home Guard in Alresford

A couple of photos have introduced the topic of the Home Guard in Alresford in WWII: was your Dad a member at that time? The picture below shows the Alresford Home Guard in WWII, and is from the Alresford Museum collection, waiting for names to be added. Len Strong has identified his Uncle, Bert Strong, the younger looking guy at the end of the middle row on the right.

Pat Young (nee Strong) has identified several more: on the back row from the left there is Jim White, Dennis Biggs, Mr Kemp, Unknown, Geoff Small, Unknown, Harry Meadows, Unknown, Mr Tremeer, and Andrew Duffy. The middle row has: Unknown, Unknown, Mr Clift, Unknown, Reg Faithful, Unknown, Archie Livingstone, and Bert Strong. The front row is more difficult, but fourth from the left, sort of in the centre position, is Trevor Childs.The Alresford Home Guard in WWII

The Alresford Home Guard in WWII

Added in April 2013: this photo was found in Arthur Stowell’s book called “The Story of Alresford”, and Arthur had identified most of the people and their occupations/addresses. So starting on the back row again we have Jim White, Dennis Biggs (Hankins Garage), Arthur Kent (The Dean), Dick (or Joe) Brazier (The Dean), Geoff Small (Painter/decorator, West Street), Unknown again, Harry Meadows (Grange Road), Bill Haslett (brother-in-law to old Tom Bennel), Tremeer Baker (The Dean), and Billy Smith (Van driver, The Dean – different to the above list!). MIDDLE ROW: Here we have Mr Curtis, Chappie Blake (World Stores, East Street), Cliff Baker (Blacksmith’s son, T M Bean), Harry Radbourne, Reg Faithful (Elinham’s Bakers, The Dean), Unknown, Mr Strong,  Ceril Strong (Pound Hill). FRONT ROW: Here is Mr Miles (Spring Lane), George Allen (West Street), Freddie Sayle (Hankins Garage, South Road), Trevor Childs (Miller, The Dean) Dickie Dymond (School Inspector, Jacklyn’s Lane),Peter Cheyney (West Street),Russel ? (New Farm Road) and Mr Lawson (West Street). (These are not necessarily all correct, because they only represent what Arthur was told by someone in the 1990s).

Peter Chalk was a member of the Army Cadets, which typically offered training for 12-18 year old boys in those days, and in the picture below he can be seen sitting with crossed legs at the very front at the right hand end of the group. Audrey Chalk thinks this photo was taken in the grounds of the Old Rectory at the top of Sun Hill: second from the right seated on the chairs is Harold Young, who says this must have been after 1945, because he didn’t get a uniform until then!

Harold and Pat Young have managed to identify all the people on this picture: on the back row, left to right, there is Maurice Russell, Jim Hunt, Ken Smith, Alan Miles, Nobby Clark, John Stevenson, Gordon Taylor, John Groves and Barry Young. Middle row is Tony Curtis, Cyril Bennett, Tony Smith, Frank Hazelgrove, Taffy Williams, Stan Williams, Harold Young and Ron Rustell. Seated cross-legged on the left is Ron Carver, who was an evacuee from Portsmouth.

The Alresford Junior Home Guard, 1940

The Alresford Cadets, 1945

On the http://www.AlresfordHeritage.co.uk website, there is another picture from 1940 which shows an anti-tank gun next to a pile of scrap metal being collected for the war effort. The gun was mounted on some concrete bases, positioned at the top of Pound Hill, next to the Perins school entrance: it was pointing down the Avenue, with the idea of defending the town against a German invasion and tanks coming from the Winchester direction.

Scrap metal being collected for the war effort, 1940

Scrap metal being collected for the war effort, 1940

What remains today are some of the concrete pillars that presumably prevented the gun recoil sending it down Pound Hill, and the concrete for the gun base, with a plaque. The inscription says “1940-45 – All that remains of Alresford’s anti-tank defenses against the expected German invasion after the Dunkirk withdrawal from Europe in May 1940. These defenses were manned by the Alresford Home Guard”.

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Another photo of the Alresford Cadets in the late 1940s has been found by Pat and Harold Young, seen below. Here we have, on the back row: Harold (Chub) Young, Geoffrey Porter, Punch Kempster, Jimmy Hunt, Tony Curtis, Tony Page, Denis Smith, and John Groves.

In the second row: Gordon Taylor, John Stevenson, Nobby Clark, Les Strong, Maurice White, Tony Smith, Barry Young, and Len Lewer. In front of them there is: Maurice Russell, Stan Williams, Unknown, Mr Pullen, Ken Young, Peter Young, and Michael Wilson, an evacuee.  In front there are Ken Moore, Cyril Bennett, Harvey Young and Mousey Hayes.

Another pic of the Alresford Cadets

Another pic of the Alresford Cadets

With thanks to Audrey Chalk, Pat and Harold Young, http://www.museum.alresford.org/gallerries/hist_images.htm and http://www.alresfordheritage.co.uk for the photos

 

Garage in Broad Street – the sequel

Well six months has gone by, since I first asked the question about what happened to the garage in Broad Street, and there have been three good comments, but I’m amazed that no-one had the full answer.

broad st garage

The garage was known as the Broadway Garage, and had been for a long time before I moved to Alresford, from 1938 approx according to Len Strong. He’s about right, because when the building was demolished various accounts and invoices dating from the late thirties were found in the roof space, and are now held in the Alresford Museum (www.museum.alresford.org). In the 70s and 80s the garage was owned and run by the late Chris Lentz. The photo shown here is from May 85 showing it with two specially made (non-specific) garage signs – and a lot of very polished vintage cars for that TV filming.

The exact filming done is a bit dubious: the main suggestion was that it was for a Shell petrol advert, although the owner of the Austin Healey remembers it being used as a getaway car in one film. The filming attracted a lot of passing interest, as can be seen from the second photo, and a fair bit of trade for the Bodega Wine Bar almost next door.

What happened to the garage? Well, at least one of the signs visible over the windows is still visible today – but relocated to another motor car repair garage at the Winchester end of New Farm Road, behind the chapel. Have a look from the bus next time you go to Winchester!

broad street 1985 2

The picture above caused a lot of amusement, around the display put up the following week in the Bodega Wine Bar. The young lady on the photo stormed in and demanded the prints and the negatives and the rest of the world as well. She did not get anything, the picture was taken legally, on a public road. I just liked the way the cars made a nice background.

C Lenz garage

C Lenz garage 2The Garage itself? The actual buildings were knocked down a year or so later, in 1987 I think, after the business moved to New Farm Road. They had stood on the site of the old “Le Hart” Inn, but now made way for three new town houses. The garage itself looked more like the photo above, normally: I am told that the narrow green house next door was the old Alresford Telephone Exchange.

The lower-roofed house that looks a little different, on the left, but which was a part of the garage, was originally a grocer’s shop, owned by the parents of Millie Godwin, during the 1920s-30s. I think this was number 38, whereas the main garage buildings were number 36 Broad Street.

I should get a modern photo of the new town houses, to show the current status!

Can’t resist adding this pic processed today from the Alresford Museum collection of the Lawrence Wright images of Alresford Buildings, in 1965: this is the garage back then: even with petrol pumps! It says the owner/proprietor was John Allen…

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