Friday, 5 May 2017

Who remembers Tudors of Eltham? ......... Peter's story

Now this is less a history story and more a mystery investigation.

It began with a picture of an old van in a lane in Footscray and yes once again it was my friend Jean who supplied the picture and contributed much to the search.

The van belonged to Tudors of Eltham who were listed at 58-60 Well Hall Road.  I vaguely remember the name but that is about it.

The van was registered in 1985 and was bought minus its engine in 1990 from a firm in Maidstone, its new owner having responded out of nothing more than simple curiosity to an advert. that said "Large van for sale- no Tax, no Insurance and no Engine."

Jean has added "He found that the story behind this had a bizzare twist- it seems that the van's previous owners, who may have been Tudors of Eltham, had trouble with the engine, and let someone dismantle it and take it away for repair but sadly the said mechanic never returned.

However, he bought the van anyway as it was cheap and he thought it would make a good 'mobile shed'. 

Towing it home was not without danger though as another driver - not seeing the towing rope-cut across him whilst coming over Maidstone Bridge, almost dividing him from life and limb and his new-found bargain of a lifetime."

Today 58-60 Well Hall Road is occupied by another furniture company who have been trading on the spot since 1991.

Jean remembers that back in the 1960s and 70s the shop “was, a branch of Jones Brothers, timber merchants and most of the wood in my house was bought at this shop,” which I rather think was where dad bought his wood from as well.

And just to add to the mist I remember the entrance on the extreme left of the parade of shops being a branch of the Ministry of Empolyment  because it was there at the tender age of 16 I went for a National Insurance card.

So there is the mystery, when were Tudors of Eltham on Well Hall Road, and who remembers them?

At this point of course the historian in me mutters it should be possible to track them down with a directory, but who wants to spoil a mystery?

Pictures; from the collection of Jean Gammons.

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