The photographer has obviously arranged this photograph to contrast different modes of transport. On the extreme left is a pedestrian, a smart lady in a cloche hat (can anyone identify her?), next the cart with its driver and a passenger posing by the wheel (Who were they? What kind of cart was it?). On the right, modernity, two men standing proudly by the car.
We are grateful to Mr. Gary Christmas, of Melton Mowbray and his cousin, Mr. Christopher Harris of Salem, Oregon, for identifying the members of their family in the photograph. (See their comments below.) Mr. Harris tells us that the little girl in the car is his mother, Marcia Christmas. On the right is his grandfather, Bill Christmas. On the left is Sid Chorlton. Mr Woodhouse, proprietor of the present day garage on this site (Woodhouse and Carman), told us Mr.Christmas habitually smoked a pipe. We would very much like to know more about the garage, the cars of this time and their owners.
Mr Woodhouse also pointed out that the garden wall seen on the left of the picture is still there, but it is higher in this picture because the level of the unmetalled street, without pavements, was lower than today. The gable end of the stable block is also higher than today, for the same reason. Claremont House, the large house behind the stables, has two sets of octagonal neo-tudor chimneys, which have since been replaced by plain rectangular chimneys, perhaps when the old ones became unstable. There was no street lighting when the old picture was taken. We have included a modern picture taken from the same positon for comparison.
Christmas and Chorlton’s garage, selling B.P. Motor Spirit 1s 3d a gallon, is listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1928 and the picture would seem to date from around this time. In addition to the petrol pumps, advertisements and telegraph poles, which have all gone, it shows the garage buildings and bicycle shop where the open forecourt is today.
If anyone can add any memories, information or photographs about the garage, please get in touch. Can anyone recognise the make of the car?