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This website Forum is provided to allow discussion concerning the local history of the Newton-le-Willows & Earlestown area.
(Any posts made to this forum not related to the local history of this area, or that are deemed unsuitable, will be moderated or deleted.)
I have very much enjoyed reading these posts. My father was Peter Alderman. Poppy was right to say the business was Alderman and Bowd. Dad's father, James Stanley Alderman, set up the family business with Mr Bowd in 1927 I believe, as a small engineering firm. Through the next decade they added petrol pumps and a garage. During WW2 the engineering works was commisioned to make aircraft parts. Dad served his time in the RAF, where he developed his love of flying. He was ground staff. He then took over the business and progressed it to a multi franchise dealership. I remember being at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the company in 1977, in a giant tent on the field at the back of A&B Motors. Staff at the time included Bob Hoinville, Malcolm Thomas, John Murphy to name a few. Frank Hampson's wife was my mum, Ivy's best friend - Doreen. One post mentioned helicopters. This may sound extravagant for a car dealer but he used it to travel the length and breadth of the country buying and selling used cars. He also used it to take disabled children for a ride and carried the medical crew to injured riders at the TT Races in the Isle of Man for a few years. I have hundreds of photos of the garage, helicopters, family etc. Dad retired around 1984 and handed control to someone to sell on the company. He moved to USA due to ill health and finally died of emphysema in 2006 in Arizona. I am obviously very proud of my father's achievements, including at one stage being the largest Datsun dealer in Europe. He was also awarded the Rose Trophy by the Helicopter Club of Great Britain 3 times for services to the club, so got to keep it.
It's really nice of you to take the time to provide some real validation to this thread, it helps to stitch together the various bits from other contributors who, erm, sometimes forget the details due to the passage of time.
I've no connection with A & B, although I have a vague recollection of my uncle, Peter Forshaw, maybe working there or at least knowing your dad; but I do remember both garages and the humongous American motor homes (Winnebagos?) for sale, so I've enjoyed reading the various recollections.
If you can find the time, I'm sure we would all love to see you post some of those photos you have.
Here's a small snippet from "The Times" Feb 12, 1938
You have just jogged my memory,don't remember all of them,Peter Conboy was at my 60th in January,along with Dykes,& Rigby,there were 2 brothers called Griffin for the life of me I can't remember the first names .
My dad, Jack Dykes, has been mentioned in this post hence this contribution as it is approaching his 80th birthday next month and my brother, sister and I are putting together a little history of his life so any memories or photos would be greatly appreciated.
He has told us when he started at A&B that he used to get the train down to Cowley and Crewe and drive back in Austin's and Rollers - what a great job that must have been with roads that carried little traffic.
His trade was panel beating and he had risen to foreman before he left in the mid 70's to work for himself with George Lawrence at Derby Street garage.
Over his lifetime he has driven many cars of course including a Triumph Herald estate that I remember because it was two separate halves welded together (I think he had plans of losing the kids one day)! He had a fondness for a 1950's Lea Francis his parents (the newsagents on Earl Street) used to own but today he gets about mainly on an electric bike as after a lifetime of working on his knees he finds walking difficult.
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