Northfields Garage

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Thread Topic: Northfields Garage
Topic Originator: Dan Entwisle
Post Date March 22, 2011 @ 3:26 PM
 Northfields Garage
 Northfields Garage/Singer cars
 Northfields Garage ?Mr Tilley
 Northfields Gge/Francis/Drake
 Northfields Gge/was orchard
 Northfields Gge/Talbot?
 Northfields Garage/greengage heaven
  Northfields Garage/Peter Bradshaw
 Northfields Garage/Dick Francis
 Northfields Garage/? Len Tilley
 Northfields Garage
 Northfields/my wedding day
  Northfields Garage
 Northfields Garage/looked after you
 Northfields Garage/taxi services
 Nflds Garage/Pullen&Cotterill
 Northflds/Gordon Palmer
 Nflds/ breakdown crane
 Nflds/AA man
 Nflds Garage/Pullens/Tilley
 Nflds Garage/Canadian effect
  Nflds/Rolls Royce photos
 RE: Northfields Garage
 RE: Northfields Garage
 Nflds/unforgettable characters
 Nflds/Harry Cotterill
 Nflds/Mark & Joy Pullen
 Nflds/desperate in Rolls
 Nflds/Mark Pullen
 Nflds/Pullen family
 Nflds/Joy Pullen
 Nflds/Mark & Joy
 Nflds/amateur boxing
 Nflds/taxi firms
 RE: Northfields Garage

Dan Entwisle
March 22, 2011 @ 3:26 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I see from Google that the little garage on the corner of Alexandra Road and Emlyns Street is still in business.
Good to see that a place like this survives in the world of big out of town franchised dealers and national tyre chains.
I remember it late 70s/early80s.  Did they sell petrol?  There was a tiny showroom round on Alexandra Road which used to have the odd really good car up for sale. A 1978 Opel Manta comes to mind.  It would be a classic now!
So, what's the story behind the place?  It must have been there for decades.
Kate: Thanks for that Dan.  Anyone remember any details?  Think it was called
Northfields Garage - always busy and as you say, having two or three very nice motors in the showroom window.

Roger Partridge
March 24, 2011 @ 8:52 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

In the late 1960s Northfields Garage sold a brand of petrol called Curfew and were agents for Singer cars, which didn't last long as Singer ceased manufacture in 1970. The garage must have been there since at least the 1950s.

Clem Walden
March 24, 2011 @ 11:00 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Roger, wish I had the info on Northfields Garage but unfortunately I know very little other than say I believe the show room was added at a later date, the garage itself I believe was there in the late 40s or early 50s and I seem to think Mr Tilley who had a taxi service in the Town at the time had something to do with this garage but I am not sure it would be nice to find out the history hopefully someone may be able to help us.

John Tyers
March 25, 2011 @ 2:16 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I recall the partners being Mr Dick Francis of Uffington and the late Mr Drake who lived in Queen's Street.  You could always be assured of a fair deal with them, reasonable prices for their repairs and a positive attitude when you put your car in for it's MOT.  Prior to their ownership, I could be wrong but think it was a gentleman named Curtis who emigrated.

March 25, 2011 @ 2:54 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Where Northfields Garage stands was an orchard. It was owned by a Mr Brand (?) who was a cabinet maker. In the 1920s he erected a large wooden workshop which was on the corner of Alexandra Road and the back lane between Emlyn Street and Queen Street. This workshop was where the garage started, possibly by Bob Francis from Uffington. It sticks in my mind because of the number of times Mr Brand helped me out of his orchard with a large boot.

Dan Entwisle
March 25, 2011 @ 3:29 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Would Mr Tilly be anything to do with "Tilly's for Talbot/" The short lived Talbot car franchise that set up around 1980.  The showroom was at the bottom of the Rec on North Street?  I forget the names of the roads.  It had a showroom and a workshop that extended back onto the Rec. It was near the Derby and Joan Club.

I haunted that place as a kid, picking up brochures every week or so it seemed.  My Dad had a Talbot Horizon - so there was even more reason to go when the car needed servicing.

It shut and became the Big Apple amusement arcade. I wasn't allowed to go in there by my Mum.

March 27, 2011 @ 6:16 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Ernie Curtis the builder had the orchard in the 1950s, the large wooden workshop on Alexandra Road at about the same time was used by Mr Stubbs who sold logs from there( The same Mr Stubbs who used to have a small pony cart and charged threepence a ride from one end of Essex Road To the other end).
Ernie Curtis's builders yard was entered from the back lane.
His son-in-law Pete Bradshaw had the garage built a few years later, perhaps in the 1960s and yes, they had petrol pumps there, later again Pete and his wife Betty sold the business and moved to Australia, where they still live.
When I was young I spent much of the summer holidays with Ernie's sons Terry and John in the orchard, there were apple and pear trees, plum and a wonderful greengage tree.
The orchard and friends were  a special part of my life and memories.

joan stafford
March 27, 2011 @ 6:23 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

There was a Peter Bradshaw and his wife Betty that ran the Northfields in the late 50's early 60's and they emigrated to Australia about 1964-ish.  Mr. Tilly lived opposite at the end of Alexander Road, he was the only taxi in Stamford.  We used him for our wedding car.

March 27, 2011 @ 9:18 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Oops! Apologies. John T is right. It was, of course, Dick Francis who was there in the early days.

Roger Partridge
March 27, 2011 @ 9:53 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Len Tilley definitely ran the small garage in North St (known as North St Garage or Tilley's North Street Garage) next to Darby and Joan Hall. The taxi business also operated from there. Around the corner in Chapel Yard, Harts had a modern seed warehouse of concrete block construction which was sold (late 1970s?) and became I think Central Garage (part of Hamblin Group who owned Sycamores and Central Garage Uppingham) and I think were Fiat dealers. This business only operated for a few years and at some time merged with/took over North St Garage and I understand the business name changed.

Was the seed warehouse the building that eventually became a snooker hall in the mid 1980s?

I don't know if Len Tilley had ever had any connection with Northfields Garage or it was just a coincidence that he lived opposite

Roger Partridge
March 28, 2011 @ 10:19 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Joan, didn't Alf Dexter run a taxi service from the back of his filling station in Scotgate. Also at some time Frank Sawyer ran Frank's Taxis on St Peter's Hill

John Tyers
March 29, 2011 @ 4:33 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Joan, like you and Geoff, we also hired Mr Tilley and his lovely old Humber for our wedding 53 years ago!  As I was very much under the weather from overindulgence with some suspect company the evening prior to the great occasion and felt nauseous to say the least all through the service, on the way to the reception Mr Tilley magically produced a bottle of soda water which he carried under the seat for just such emergencies; this made me feel a little better but despite the abundance of food my mother-in-law laid on at the reception in the Darby and Joan Hall, I couldn't eat a thing!  Thankfully I've made up for it since, though.

March 30, 2011 @ 8:13 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Yes Mr Dexter did run a taxi business from Scotgate and later Frank Sawyer from St Peters Hill, the lovely building on the corner.

Richard Campbell
April 4, 2011 @ 4:17 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

My parents used to frequent Northfields Garage up until last year when my Mother at the age of 83 left Stamford.

They would check her oil , water and tyres for her and generally make sure that she was ok.....

Prior to that they used Tinwell Rd was ran by Cyril Hewit I believe.

They had a petrol account there...which was quiet useful!!


Clem Walden
April 8, 2011 @ 1:04 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Betty, hope you are OK and doing well. Franks Sawyers Taxis St Peters street:-Dexters Scotgate:-And Tilley's Alexander Road, are the only taxi services I remember in my younger years. And I believe Mr Tilley of Alexander started his Taxi business long before Dexters or Frank Sawyer? I may be wrong? But I seem to remember Mr Tilley of Alexander road had a taxi sevice in the late 40s he also had a very posh car that was offten obseverd with ribbons on delivering brides to the various Churches on their wedding days. Perhaps he was not the first in Stamford to start a taxi business? But I do not remember any others that came before him? Tilley's:-Dexter:-Then Frank Sawyers,
thats how I remember it. However others out there may be able to correct my thinking? And tell me who was the first taxi service
in Stamford?

John Tyers
April 10, 2011 @ 10:38 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I worked part time for Messrs Pullen & Cotterill when we were first married.  They started not long after WW2 and had two London style Austin FX3 taxis in their fleet and for weddings had a Rolls Royce which had formerly been The Marquess of Exeter's London car in which he travelled to and from the House of Lords. They also had a Rolls hearse with which they serviced the Funeral Directors in town.  P & C rented the taxi spaces at Stamford Town station from British Railways and any other taxi picking up fares at that location was, in fact, acting illegally.  I think Mr Cowley rented the taxi space at Stamford East station.

Clem Walden
April 11, 2011 @ 7:00 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi John very interesting posting re;-Pullen and Cotterill I was aware they had the garage In St Georges but was not aware about the Roll's or the taxi ranks at the Station, as you will be aware both Mr Pullen and Mr Cotterill lived in Tolethorpe Square where I was born and I well remember in the 40's thinking how rich they must have been to both own cars, they were the only cars seen in Tolethorpe Square at the time as one of my earlier postings records. Mr Pullen lived at number 2 and Mr Cotterill lived at number 6 Tolethorpe Square if my memory serves me well.

John Tyers
April 12, 2011 @ 4:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Did'nt know Clem they both lived in Tolthorpe Square; they were decent employers and worked unsocial hours on the garage side of the business which was AA sponsored and performed emergency repairs at weekends and in the night hours to cars towed in after breakdown mainly on the A1. Usually they were escorted in by Gordon Palmer, the local AA man on his BSA motorbike and sidecar if he was unable to get them going again at the roadside.  They had a couple of full time taxi drivers who would get a bit sensitive about "poachers" picking up fares at the station on the firm's rented spaces; usually they took it in good part but sometimes would have a quiet word with the offender.  Similarly if you picked up outside Peterborough station, you ran the risk of being deliberately boxed in by the local taxi drivers; as one once put it to me "you're stealing the bread out of our mouths!"

Roger Partridge
April 12, 2011 @ 8:17 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Len Tilley had a late 1940s/early 50s Humber Super Snipe for many years, certainly into the 1960s.

In the late 1950s Mr Pullen had a house built for him and his family in St Leonards St just round the corner from St George's Garage. I believe when he retired he moved to Empingham.

I remember in the 1960s St George's Garage had an ex WD Morris 4x4 truck fitted with a breakdown crane.

Clem Walden
April 13, 2011 @ 12:25 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi John I remember Gordon Palmer AA and his motor bike and sidecar
those were the days. Interesting to note the taxi drivers at times had difficulties with "poachers" and the bosses needed to have words with them. Would be a little difficult today to have words with "poachers"
as the present systems allows all licence taxis to stand on any rank. I wonder if you remember Dennis Smith I think he became an AA man or perhaps RAC "not sure which" but I do remember him on his motor bike with sidecar. Would have to say Mr Pullen and his wife were a very nice couple and I dont think they had any children. Eric Cotterill and his wife had two children, Gerald (son) and Jill (daughter) Jill married one of the Woods and Gerald married a girl from Ketton. we all played together back in the 40s Tolethorpe Square then was full of young children then. I see Gerald occasionaly but have not seen Jill for 20 years. Anyway John thanks for recalling my memories.

Roger Partridge
April 13, 2011 @ 10:09 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Clem, the Pullens had a son, Mark and I think there was also an older daughter, Joy. I was at school with both Mark and Len Tilley's son Paul.

John Tyers
April 14, 2011 @ 12:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Clem you will recall in the old days you could only book a taxi by calling in person or phone booking from a properly constituted office and were not allowed to "cruise" the town to pick up fares and there were no taxi ranks like today.  When the Canadians were at Luffenham there was a constant flow of taxis back and forth to the town from the base and I remember Mr Patch tried to get authority to start a cruiser service to tap into this lucrative market but the district council turned him down.   Back in 1958 the taxi driver's pay was 3/6d per hour or in the case of Frank's Taxis 3/- in the £ commission which in view of the frequency of runs to Luffenham was good for the driver's pocket but not so good when the situation changed, the Canadians departed and the market collapsed.

christine pattinson
April 16, 2011 @ 7:59 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Clem.
As you will remember in the early 1940's I lived at 4 Tolethorpe Sq. between the Pullens and the Cotterells. When I married in 1959 we used their Rolls Royce for our wedding car.Very posh, I think we got the hire a bit cheaper having been neighbours and friends with Gerald and Jill as children. I have found two photo's of our big day taken from the steps of Barn Hill Chapel with the Rolls Royce looking very grand.
Christine Painter/Rolls Royce in background
Rolls Royce/Christine Painter's wedding
To see larger version of these photos when on FLICKR click on Actions and then on Slideshow.

Clem Walden
April 16, 2011 @ 9:37 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Roger, I did not know the Pullens had any children, I remember them leaving Tolethorpe Square in the 50s as I still lived there at the time. How old would Mark and Joy be? As I am wondering if they were perhaps born after the Pullens left the Square to live in St Leonards street? Or maybe they were born in the Square but were a lot older than me? I was playing with Gerald and Gill Cottrill and others who lived in Tolethorpe Square the Square in the mid 40s to early 50s
I left the square in 1962 when I got married. Would be interested to know about Mark and Joy as I never knew them, or could it be I did but the old brain fails to remember? Senior moments perhaps.

Clem Walden
April 16, 2011 @ 10:13 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi John I do recall those long gone day's and how the taxis would be back and forth with the Canadians. Did not know about Harry Patch trying to get authority for cruiser service. I was working at Luffenham at the time when the Canadians were there I had a motor bike BSA 250 and exchanged it for a Harley Davison 750 hand change gears and foot clutch it was an old USA police bike and one of the Canadians agreed to take my BSA for his Harley "good deal" I can also tell you that many times I gave various Canadians a lift in to Stamford after work perhaps I was guilty of doing the taxis out of some business? I eventually sold the old Harley to a lad I worked with from Nottingham, and brought a 250 Royal Enfield from St Michaels Motors that was at that time in Red Lion Street "show room one side the road workshop on the otherside. The show room later to become the "Wimpy Bar" Run by Mrs Mckechnie, do you remember? Good old days and fond memories John.

John Tyers
April 18, 2011 @ 2:22 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Clem; I bet you wish you still had the Harley, it would be worth something today as a museum piece!  With the hand change and awkward foot clutch, it may have been ex Army WW2.  There used to be another one around town in the fifties ridden by a chap I think from one of the villages.  He was a bit of an eccentric and used to dress in black leather jacket, jodphurs and riding boots and wore a dummy cartridge bandolier around his shoulders - he looked like a Western Mexican desperado but was a nice lad, his brother was rather more sedate and a few years earlier had been in our class at St Martin's School.  Is it only me but the great days with the old town characters seem to have just about gone?

April 18, 2011 @ 3:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Nice photo's Christine, I see the ever reliable Harry Cotterill was on hand, he photo'd my wedding in '64, what a nice guy.
Kate: Yes Syd - I spotted Harry.  Think the Morris car opposite was owned by a friend of mine.  The old photos reveal lots of hidden gems. Thanks very much for sending them in Christine.

Roger Partridge
April 18, 2011 @ 8:24 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Clem.

Mark would be 61 now, Joy (who I don't remember) would be about 65.

John Tyers
April 18, 2011 @ 8:53 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The first time I drove the Rolls was an embarrassment.  The gear lever was located in a clearly marked gate on the floor unusually to the right of the steering wheel (RR just had to be different).  I was booked to take it to a "society" wedding at Lolham Mill but for convenience's sake beforehand went to pick up some passengers from Stamford Town station.  I had to manoevre the car outside the station and could not get the gear lever into reverse!  In desperation I abandonned the car, sprinted up to the office in St George's Street where Mr Eric Cotterill quietly advised me "You do know you have to press down on the knob on top of the gear lever on a Rolls?"  I just made it back to the station as the awaited train was arriving and sure enough, in Rolls Royce fashion on pressing down on the knob reverse gear was quietly engaged.  I picked up the passengers with all the solemn dignity required of a Rolls Royce driver as if nothing had happened!
Kate: Whew! They never knew!

Roger Partridge
April 19, 2011 @ 7:01 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Clem, a bit more info about Mark.

Like me he attended Bluecoat and Stamford Schools and he then worked for NatWest in the High St. I believe he was transferred to the Ramsey branch in the early 1970s. But I don't know what's happened to him since then.

Clem Walden
April 20, 2011 @ 12:05 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Roger, thanks for the info on Mark and Joy Pullen, seems Mark may well have been born in Tolethorpe Square 1950? and Joy was perhaps born in St Leonards Street after the Pullens moved there.
Perhaps thats why I did not remember them. Mark would have been a baby say 2 or 3 years old? when they moved to St Leonards street? My playing games with the Cottrills and other boys and girls in the Square began in 1944 and ceased about 1952/3. when I was about 12/13 back then I was taking news papers and had an errand boys job "working to make a few bob" I would have been 16/17 when Joy was born 1956. Rock and Roll and the Teddy boys were top of my list then. So I really don't remember them at all. But grateful thanks for all the info it would be nice to find out what happened to Mark and Joy.

Roger Partridge
April 21, 2011 @ 8:29 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Clem, Joy was born in 1946, not 1956.

Clem Walden
April 21, 2011 @ 9:49 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Roger, I have been asking a few old Tolethorpe Square locals  about Mark and Joy Pullen. Mr and Mrs Pullen who lived in Tolethorpe Square (Re:-Pullen & Cottrills St Georges Garage) had possibly two sons who were born between 1925-1929 they would be 80+ now if they are still living. One son was nicknamed "Titch Pullen" who worked for his father and Eric Cottrill (Patners) at the garage as a mechanic. Mark and Joy could be his children? Or perhaps his brothers children? Mr and Mrs Pullen senior (Who lived in the Square) would have been Mark and Joys grand parents. Hope this helps.

Roger Partridge
April 22, 2011 @ 7:19 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Clem.
Checking birth records on Genes Reunited for Stamford, I've found the following Pullens : Frank M (born 1920), Harold E (1921), Reginald A and Ronald G (both 1922). Can't find any others before 1935, but from past experience the site's search facility doesn't always give all the results.
Dolby's Directory shows H J Pullen as living in St Leonards Street. If "Titch" is Mark and Joy's father, then 1925 rather than 1929 would be the more likely date of birth for him.

April 22, 2011 @ 8:31 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

`Tich` Pullen, who would now be 86 or 87, had an older brother, Harold, who was always known as `Ajjy`. Eric Cotterill was a keen amateur boxer. Before the war on a fine Sunday morning, he would meet in Green Lane with a few friends .for sparring sessions. Once again, as scruffy youngsters we were allowed to watch.

Roger Partridge
April 23, 2011 @ 9:21 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Getting back to taxi firms, in a July 1960 Stamford Mercury in classified columns under Taxis there are 4 ads, St George's Garage (Pullen and Cotterill), Frank's Taxis, Tilley's Taxis (address given as Office, Jackson Villa, Alexandra Rd) and Northfield's Taxis (address 7 Red Lion St - forerunner of Red Lion Taxis?)

April 25, 2011 @ 6:42 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi-Roger I agree with you re:-"Tich" 1929 Mr & Mrs Pullen who lived in Tolethorpe Square when I was living there (Re:-Pullen/Cottrills would have been the grandparents of his children "Marks & Joy"
It could be the other three pullens you metion 1920/21/22. may well have also been related? However I think with all your hard work we have establised Mark & Joys Grandparents had their family in the 20s
a long time before I was playing all those games with the children of Toethorpe Square.

Clive Hilliard
July 22, 2016 @ 10:39 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I started there in April 1962 straight from school working for Pete Bradshaw. He also bought the old brewery in North Street behind the Poacher which he and I started to strip out, which he sold and it became Welland Tyres. Dick Francis and Mr Drake took it over when Pete emigrated Dick used to work for ECP before taking over Northfields Garage. The petrol they sold was Esso then.