History of Garages in the West Midlands

12th, January 2016

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The rise and fall of motor vehicle repair garages and petrol stations..The first garage repair stations started apearing throughout the country in the early nineteen hundreds, when automobiles first were introduced, Although the first motor driven vehicle was introduced in 1895 an imported Panhard et Levassor.By the early nineteen hundreds there were aproxematly 800 cars on the roads in Britain.This rose to 1 million by the nineteen thirties.Which stands today at around 30 million with the average age of cars about 7 years old.Cars were historicaly kept a lot longer by there owners and repairs were done by themselves or the local garage.This all changed when the introduction of representives cars were introduced by large companies. then fewer privatly owned cars were being repaired by the owners.The next down turn for the small independent garage was the introduction of the lease cars were the car had to be taken back to the main agent for serviceing.This all had a knock on effect with the small independent garage owner wether they were selling tyres petrol batteries exuasts or car spares things started to decline from the 1970s to current day. In one area alone Streetly Sutton Coldfield 8 petrol stations have closed most within half a mile or 1 mile of each other all losing there workshops and service facillities also creating employing for local people.All these have gone for residential appartments and housing.Two of the best known garages in Streetly were S A Satterthwaite and Cutlers.Both remained there until the 2000s .Satterththwaite garage was one of the best known throughout the British Iles for repairing Foden Trucks.Sam Satterwaite was one of the most knollegable people in the country on these lorrys also a true gentleman.The old fashioned petrol pumps from the 1950s remained there until it was demolished in the year 2000.Cutlers garage also on the main Chester road half a mile away has gone for housing.This used to be a Rover and BMC Main agents servicing spares department  MOT and petrol station.Many local people served there apprentishps here.Over the road was the wesley service station offering petrol mot station and servicing and tyre fitting.this has gone for housing in the ninetees.Further up the Chester Road towards Birminghan was the Meeds garage car showroom and various main agent dealerships and petrol forcourt. which was demolished to make way for the new Nissan dealership with no petrol station.A quater of a mile up the road there used to be the Bridle lane service station specialising in brakes and exausts also selling petrol from ther forcourt. yet again this one has gone l development. The old established Garage in Streetly village known as Halls garage in Thornhill road has gone for residential development. here we had the old school mecanics that could turn parts out on the lathe skim your brake discs fit your tyres  or change your oil nothing was to much trouble for this garage ran by Mr Goerge Rookes Mr John Smith Mr Bob Pitchford and Richard Wylde .The garage was then sold to Mr Derek Tisdale who traded as Eltra gas from the railway sidings and old Streetly Railway Station at the rear of Halls garage before demolition of the garage and Railway Stationin 1999/ 2000.Another one mile towards Birmingham we had the Heron petrol station totaly demolished in the ninetees and the site remains empty yet again no petrol.Down the road again towards Aldridge we have the old Foley service station which has been demolished to make a Marks and Spencer mini supermarket with coffe tea and fast food all very nice but no workshops or servicing.Then we move 3 miles away to the areas of Aldridge Walsall Wood Shire Oak and Shellfield were another eleven petrol and service stations have closed in the last twenty years.Birmingam Tyre dealers and garages that have closed over the last 30 years is even greater.One of the great names in tyres was Tom Bytheway liked by all in the industry one of the first to do kwik fit as we know today. they were situated on the Chester Road Erdington 



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