V-to-C Miscellany, December 1995, December 1995

As a contribution to 100 years of the motor car, Rod Fitzhugh has written a little 28-page booklet about the relatively unremembered Bridgwater cars and the company that inspired their production and which was in existence from 1887 to 1994. Those who like a bit of off-beat history can obtain copies, at £2.95 post free, from the Avalon Press, II Regency Drive, Green Lane, Coventry, CV3 60A.

The very industrious Registrars of the Lea-Francis OC have published a list of the Club’s members’ cars. These add up to an impressive total comprising 92 14hp 4-light saloons, 60 P-types. 34 14hp sports-models, 31 S-types, 21 14hp estate-bodied cars, 13 14hp Specials, one with a Frazer Nash, another with a Laystall Cromard body, eight each of J-types and 14hp six-light saloons, six each of K-type and V-type, five each of ILFS, Ace-of-Spades and pre-war 12.9hp cars, three each of M-type, 14hp Westland, 18hp saloon and Lynx, two each of L-type and Connaught and single examples of D-type, G-type, I-type, Kirkstone, 2LFS, Hyper-replica “Lobster”, 2½-litre Westland and 14hp van. Plus six Lea-Francis bicycles, five motorcycles, and five Unihorse tractors, the 1970 version with a Reliant engine. So now you know!

The latest news of the unfortunate Argyll factory at Alexandria is that it may be turned into a high-class shopping precinct. So it seems that all is not lost, because after the receivership of Zodeco, who had acquired the historic building with its famous facade, apparently with debts of several million pounds, the District Council spent £30,000 on essential repair work, and now it appears that-Classical House has bought the A-listed building, and intends to keep the Argyll facade, while installing shops for the likes of Laura Ashley and the Next chains, among 20 shops, with the prospect of 100 new jobs. Fingers well crossed!

Westons Garage at Much Marcie, originally used for servicing the cider makers’ commercial vehicles, has come on the market. This is a typical vintage country garage, whose one-time owner drove the ex-George Bedford racing Hillman in local hillclimbs and flew his aeroplane from the field behind the building. Photographs of the Hillman, the aeroplane and a Model-T Ford still hung on the office walls when we last looked in. Will it survive, or be rebuilt and lost as an “old-tyme” landmark?