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Smithfield Garage

Vivienne14

Kentish Brummie
On the opening of the extended Smithfield Garage in April 1972. The building was built over some very old wells - the area once known as Meriden Wells is, according to the Birmingham Post article below, part of a very old settlement. Viv.
 

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Vivienne14

Kentish Brummie
And some history in the Post on the Garage’s Silver Jubilee in May 1978. Viv.
 

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Shakey71

New Member
I was there about the same time and can remember: Les Smith, Allan Corbett (he went to work at Car Lighting), Hedley Hindmarsh, Tony Ticer, Dave Rowley ( died a few years ago), Tom Gillette, Mr Winkley and Martin Broadbent. I was an auto- electrician with Les Jeans. Gordon (the swimmer), he was the workshop foreman/tester. I sometimes see him in Sutton. Roger the workshop foreman. Terry Blizzard (mechanic) who was a friend of Dave Rowley.
My dad ran Smithfield during the late 70’s and early 80’s for the Labrookes - Clive Shakesheff. He became the Group Operations Director for the group when they were awarded franchises for Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Jaguar (Monarch Cars) My brother and I have very fond memories of going to the dealership in digbeth every Saturday, drinking hot chocolate and eating sausage sandwiches, wandering around the new cars.
Great pictures on this thread, can’t wait to show Dad.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
welcome to the forum shakey thanks for your memories and i hope your dad likes the photos...if there are anymore you can add to this thread that would be great

lyn
 

Edifi

master brummie
Malmar Do you remember Martin Broadbent,He was in Lease-hire.I used to deliver his cars when we were laid of from Pressed Steel Fishers
 

Shakey71

New Member
Yes I did, he worked for my Dad for many years at Smithfield. His son, Paul also worked for us at the Mercedes site in Tamworth - good guys!
 

Edifi

master brummie
Shakey71 Martin lived round the corner from me in Streetly.We drunk together in the Buccaneer pub.He was so good to me helping me out delivering the VWs when they were on strike at Leyland & Jaguar.Went all over the country really enjoyed it.Will never forget him
 

Edifi

master brummie
Martin used to organise a trip from the Buccaner by coach to the Welsh Grand National.We would stop on the way at Tinton Abbey with a big basket of sandwiches and beer .Any left was given to anyone around.Great days
 

Edifi

master brummie
Delivered a car for Martin to Lerntherick the Perfume Company in Surrey once.The Managing Director let me go into the seconds shop and pay 10p for any Perfume such as Charlie and Talcs for my Children.He even paid for a Taxi for me into London .Because there was a strike on
 

Richard Dye

master brummie
The site of this garage, is of course just a very small part of the history of the old city. Most history of that place and the area lie beneath the surface. Quite interesting excavations and the subsequent finds have given much information of the areas past, illustrating the various industries that were undertaken in the early and late medieval times. Most seem to have been located there due to the amount of water/river that was a large feature of the place. It revealed that some of the area, where the garage was, was built-up ground enabling structures to be built.
Digbeth and Deritend have so much hidden history* that is still being discovered.

* "Birmingham The Hidden History" - if you haven't got a copy, treat yourself to one. ;)
Who was the author of The Hidden History?
 

Radiorails

master brummie
I wrote this in April 2015.
 

vicfarlowe

veteran brummie
Did Smithfield Garage have a Renault dealership somewhere in Digbeth in the early 70s? When I worked at The VW Smithfield I think I heard about the Renault place but never went there.
 

Eliottpreston

New Member
Hi everyone. I'm currently restoring a 1985 vw t25 and I'm trying to find out a little more about its history. It apparently was bought new at Smithfields vw Digbeth, a while back I even had the original dealer plates and rear window stickers recreated from the originals it had on it. I'm not from Birmingham and don't actually know it that well but I was at a gig in Digbeth last week and by chance actually walked past the garage which was pretty cool. When the vans finished I'm planning on taking back there to get some photos of it in front of it. Was this part of the site that sold VW's and if so what year was it when this site closed?
Cheers
 

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vicfarlowe

veteran brummie
I was there about the same time and can remember: Les Smith, Allan Corbett (he went to work at Car Lighting), Hedley Hindmarsh, Tony Ticer, Dave Rowley ( died a few years ago), Tom Gillette, Mr Winkley and Martin Broadbent. I was an auto- electrician with Les Jeans. Gordon (the swimmer), he was the workshop foreman/tester. I sometimes see him in Sutton. Roger the workshop foreman. Terry Blizzard (mechanic) who was a friend of Dave Rowley.
I now remember some of us used to go to that pub at the top of Digbeth, the pub with the Galleon on the outside wall. What was the pub called? Any memories of it please?
 
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