The other day I stumbled across this picture of an odd confection of the Tudor Garage in Crouch End.
This business used to stand next to the Hope and Anchor on Tottenham Lane on the site now occupied by North Point flats.
I'm assuming the only logic behind the Tudoresque style is the contemporary penchant for building mock-Tudor.
The business arrived at this address in 1930/31. I'm not sure if it had been operating elsewhere prior to this date.
Above the first floor on the part of building on the left of the photo, you can just about make out evidence of the company's transition to its first new name of Capital Motors.
In the mid-1950s, a new building complemented the new name.
The business subsequently changed hands and was bought by Spurling Motor Company, a north London Vauxhall dealership.
The building was demolished by the mid-1980s and the site lay empty for about ten years until the flats were built (1990s?).
I knew nothing about either of these buildings until recently. The site has a bit of a poignancy to me since the person who first brought me to N8 lived above one of the shops opposite. for the first few years that I knew it, the site was occupied by two huge billboards.
In checking on an earlier address for the Tudor Garage, I came across another early garage just down the road.
Lynne Frank & Wagstaff set up on what later became Kwik-Fit in 1919.
Below is a picture showing the front of the garage in 1963.
Both pictures come courtesy of Roger Frost on Flickr.
Lyne Frank moved out before the end of the century, but it seems that they still own the building, or that they have done until recently. (I discovered this when I searched their name on Google and was directed back to a fairly recent post on Harringay Online about a planning application to develop the site for flats).
I love this little snippet about LF& W from a 1931 local London newspaper.
And right alongside is the dear old Hornsey Journal building (now flats). In fact we bought a Vauxhall Victor from Capital Motors in about 62/3 - right rust bucket it was! I can just about recall the Tudor building from the 50s.
I see that there used to be an additional pediment on the facade of the Journal building. It wasn't there in 2008. I wonder when it got knocked off.
I expect the Tudor Garage specialised in selling the half-timbered Morris traveller!
Capital Motors was there when I moved to Inderwick Road just opposite in '85. I don't recollect the site lying empty 'for decades'; maybe just a year or two until the flats were built.
I’m sure you’re right about the logic to the name!
My mum had a Morris Traveller for a few years. We named it Claris Spes - with good reason!
Thanks for the correction to “a few decades”. I was going to write a decade and then changed my mind to say a few years, but my execution was poor! I’m pretty sure that it stood empty for about a decade.
In the 1930's when it was built, the name Tudor was the Phone exchange for Muswell Hill, ( Mounview for Crouch End, Mulberry for Wood Green, etc.) The building is certainly mock Tudor in style, with a Tudor Archway too. Could they have moved from Muswell Hill ? The building looks rather large in scale for a start-up. Looking again at the top 1930's photo, I wonder what the large industrial building to the left is ?
Definitely the church. I remember when the Capitol Motors building was knocked down, how that side of the church came fully into view for the first time since I’d moved in to the area.
Just noticed the 1956 price of a mid-size 6 cylinder Vauxhall at a shade under £900 - the BoE calculator says that would be £21, 600 or so today. The equivalent car from Vauxhall today could be the Insignia and the Grand Sport model comes in at £20,000 basic (which back in 1956 every car was!)
Fantastic post - amazingly well-researched and informative as usual.
Interested to see the name Percy Teychenne at no 132. He could have been the father of John Teychenne who, with a Dave Kelsey, set up the Progress Chassis Company in Ribblesdale Road in about 1952 to make chassis frames for Lotus on Tottenham Lane.
Percy F Teychenne Snr had a son Percy F Jnr (b 1889 Victoria Australia). By 1911 the family were living at Elmcroft (later No. 41) Church Lane (now 1960s flats).
The occupation of Percy Jnr, aged 21 at the time was Engineer (Fitter & Turner) (Steam Waggons & Motors). In 1939 he was at the same address and described a a Garage Proprietor. (His father's occupation was given as Independent means).
41 Church Lane did back on to the garden of number 19 which looks like it used to have a building at the bottom of the garden amenable to small scale production. So there could be a link between the Teychenne name and Ribblesdale Road.
Below is a snippet from the 1938 OS map.
I have found a John Vincent Teychenne (b 1927). I have him on the electoral register in 1953 at 41 Church Road , opposite Ferrestone Road. So, whilst I have no documentary proof, it seems likely that he's Percy Jnr's son. Your knowledge of Lotus history is a lot better than mine. But I think that's around a critical time in the development of Lotus, right?
Between 1955 and 57 he's at 35a Roseberry Gardens in Crouch End. I then have no trace of him, but this forum suggests that my hunch on 19 Ribblesadale is correct and that later, this was indeed his address. My understanding is that this is where he formed the Progress Chassis Company before moving on to Edmonton.
More info from the Simple Sevens website :
John lived with his parents at 41 Church Lane, Tottenham which backed on to 19 Ribblesdale Road which they also owned. John said: "I'm going to start building a car" and his father replied "What can I do to help?" During the war a bomb had fallen on to the stables at No 19 and John created a workshop using an Anderson Shelter alongside the remains of the stable.
So, yes, John. There's a link! The Percy in the Kelly's above was Percy Snr - John's grandfather.
(This image shows an early Lotus in Ribblesdale Road in the 1950s).
By the way Percy Snr was the Mayor of Hornsey between 1917 and 1919. Given that his father was a mattress maker, I assume that he made some money in Australia (where Percy Jnr was born) before returning to Blighty.
Excellent material - thanks. Lotus was formed in 1948 but 1952 was indeed a critical year -
The company was formed as Lotus Engineering Ltd. by engineers Colin Chapman and Colin Dare, both graduates of University College, London, in 1952, but had earlier origins in 1948 when Chapman built his first racing car in a garage (Wiki). Nice link with a contractor!
Chapman was the son of the landlord of the Railway Hotel, Tottenham Lane and their first work was in garages behind the pub. Chapman went to Stationer's and was contemporary with my late eldest brother. I did a couple of pieces on Lotus for the HJ when I was a trainee. First about their last days at Hornsey and then in 1959 when they moved to Cheshunt. A family friend Len Terry was a designer for lotus.