The site before it became Alpha Garden Centre, on London Road.

From a Wickford Memories FB page with permission from Linda Joyce Elmy.

This photograph of Mrs Gladys Gower is undated. When might it have been taken?

What was the name of this petrol station on the Alpha Gardens site?

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  • This van had sliding doors. When the van was parked on a slope the doors never stayed open, much to the grief of my young son at the time, when climbing in he had his fingers on the door jam when they slid shut. We also had a mattress in the back for the boys to sit on, and when tired to sleep on. Those were the days. I also believe Ken’s son had an off license at Shotgate sometime later.

    By bobcroot (28/01/2017)
  • Yes they did have sliding doors. Soon after my wife and I got married we borrowed my brother’s van to go down to Redruth in Cornwall for a few days. Same as you, mattress in the back, a portable radio wired to the battery. After a night sleeping we woke up to find icicles hanging from the inside roof. Then going across Dartmoor I stopped and opened the nearside door, which promptly fell off. Imagine, a dark wintry night, raining and wind blowing. I soon managed to get it back on its runner and was glad to get off the moor. 

    By Robert Howard (28/01/2017)
  • I bought my first vehicle there, a Bedford van. I had learned with a floor gear stick and bought this van with a column change. I went with the owner (Ken) who lived a bit further up the road, to Gables Garage at Carpenters Arms, where we picked up the van. I then had to drive it back to this garage to sign the papers, and then home to Brock Hil. I tried many times to change gear but succeeded not to get out of 2nd gear, then on reversing up my drive got too close to the fence and caught the bumper. You learn in a Morris 1100 and then try driving a paneled long wheeled Bedford van. It would have been about the mid 1960s, good job there wasn’t as much traffic as there is today.

    By bobcroot (25/01/2017)
  • I remember Ken, he had the garage at Bedloes Rawreth Garage? He repaired my 1954 VW Beetle after an accident at Pitsea in about 1963. Maybe this was after his original site was sold. The Bedford van would have been a CA model, early ones had a split screen, same as the Moggy 1000. All had 4cylinder petrol engines, later had Perkins 4/99 or later still 4/108 diesels. I spent some time working on these and the Bedford lorries and Vauxhall cars when at Woodyat motors, 1963-7 main dealers. 

    By Robert Howard (25/01/2017)

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