Mr Carpenter founded Carpenters Removals in Longley Road in 1880. In 1901, 69 Bickersteth Road was purchased and the name has been associated with this site ever since. There is also another entrance on Brightwell Crescent and this was bought in 1907. In fact my Grandmother grew up two doors away from the Brightwell Crescent yard and remembers the horse drawn wagons trundling up the road in the early mornings.
In the early 1960s my Grandfather with his two sons, Derek and Peter started renting the rear yard from Mr Carpenter and ran a haulage and repair business. In the 70s, the then owner Jack Carpenter decided to retire and so my father, Derek, took over the removals. My Grandfather passed away in 1974 and some years later Peter moved the haulage business, that he had taken over, to larger premises. In 1979, there was (yet another) slump in the housing market which obviously meant a severe drop in the amount of removals.
Derek decided to sell the business and set up as a garage. This was a very simple decision to make as he already had plenty of tools and equipment from servicing the removal lorries. We also had a handful of customers that had seen us working on them and had enquired if we could repair/service their own vehicle.
When the Garage was founded, Derek and Daphne (Mum) were joined by my brother Stephen. I started straight after leaving school in 1981. Both of us attended Carshalton College. Also in this year we became authorised to carry out MOT tests. In 1986, a formal business partnership was made consisting of Derek, Daphne, Steve and Tony. Although Mum and Dad have now retired, they still come in on a Saturday. Mum looking after the office duties and Dad telling us off for not keeping the windows and yard clean enough! Tony's wife Mandy is responsible for the window boxes and hanging baskets that brighten the entrance up every summer.
Steve does the majority of the MOT tests that we carry out, together with welding and mechanical repairs.
I mainly get the electrical/poor running jobs, together with general mechanical repairs. I'm also in the office on a Wednesday and Friday.
Carpenters Garage is a family run independent garage, established in 1979. Originally founded by Derek Gingell, it is now run by his two sons, Stephen and Tony. We also employ three other mechanics, Branden, Andrew and Gary, and the office staff consists of Sarah and Tony.
The current staff are: Technicians (left to right) Branden who joined us in 1992, Andrew in 1996, (Sarah is our office staff), Tony and Steve Gingell, Gary, 2001.