Garage doors close on Ellesmere family business after half a century

One of Ellesmere’s oldest family businesses has closed after more than half a century of trading.

David, Ken and Roger Scott, Photo, David Atkinson
David, Ken and Roger Scott, Photo, David Atkinson

Scott’s Victoria garage has been at the heart of the community providing repair, maintenance and car sales service to customers far and wide

But now brothers Roger and David Scott have packed away their toolkits and closed the garage doors for the final time.

The move was prompted after Roger, 68, suffered a bout of ill-health which required a stay in hospital.

It was 53 years ago that he began work as a trainee mechanic in a business started by his father, Ken, when Roger left school at 15.

“My Dad had trained as a mechanic years earlier but then went to work as a lorry driver at United Dairies in Ellesmere. I’d always loved tinkering with cars from an early age, so Dad gave me the opportunity to work with him in the new business.”

At first, they operated from a disused railway workshop near the old station in Brownlow Road before taking over from the Hughes family at Victoria Garage – a former Methodist chapel – in Scotland Street in the early 1970s.

Roger working on a car in 1995

In 1980, they were joined by brother Dave when he left school at 16. For several years, the business also employed a nephew, Mark Scott, together with their mother, Kath, who managed the office, looked after the book-keeping and even polished cars in the showroom.

From Ford to Ferrari, the brothers have worked on thousands of cars over the years and witnessed many advances in automotive technology.

“Modern cars are much more reliable than they used to be,” said Roger, ”but in a way, all the fun has gone out of it because everything now involves electronics and computerised systems, and you can’t fix things so easily.

“We’re now in a much different era with electric cars, but when I started, all cars had petrol engines and they needed servicing every three thousand miles. It was all about plugs, points and carburettors, and keeping them on the road was quite a challenge. It was pretty basic and most cars didn’t even have things like fitted radios, which everyone now takes for granted.

David and Roger Scott 25 years ago

“There’s been a complete revolution over the years,” said Dave, “but we’ve always tried to keep up with each new development. Our customers have been very loyal and some have been with us since Dad started the business. We even have a customer in London who likes to bring his car here for servicing while staying with relatives locally. One lady was in tears when she heard we were finishing and we’ve had lots of kind messages wishing us well.”

Roger added: “ Dad retired at 65, he’s 94 now, and giving good customer service was something he instilled in us from the start. We’d like to thank everyone who has supported us over the years. The contact with customers has meant everything and we can’t thank them enough for their loyalty and friendship”.

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