December 31st 2005… and as the day and the year drew to an end so a long established and valued business was closing for good.

Below you'll find old photos of the Hanbury Garage and a short history of the business written by local historian Norman Stevens.

The Hanbury Garage
1926 - 2006

A Brief History
by Norman Stevens

During the early years of the 1900s the area of land on and adjacent to the garage was worked as a smallholding by a Mr Arnold who lived at the nearby Bridge House. He sold produce in a small shed type structure known by the name "Arnold Florist and Fruiterer."

In 1926 Mr Reuben Bennett bought a portion of this land and utilised the shed of the previous owner. Mr Bennett, a trained plumber, started an engineering and house servicing business. Within two years his business had evolved and had become an established garage for servicing and repairs of both motorcycles and motorcars along with petrol and oil sales.

Reuben's son, Gordon, took over the business in 1948. In 1953 he built the bungalow, St Christopher's, that we see near the garage today and in 1955 demolished the remainder of the original buildings. In doing this he created the basis of the layout we are so familiar with.

Reuben continued the family business until his retirement in 1963, which marked the end of 37 years of business in the Bennett family.

At this point Reg and Joyce Richards took over the garage. Until then Reg had been running an agricultural engineering works in Gas Work Lane (now Yew Tree Lane) where he had been servicing and maintaining the first combined harvesters in the county. In 1998 Reg sadly passed away and Joyce continued running the business whilst also bringing up her three young children. Last year in 2005, after 42 years of service, a decision was made to retire.

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