AROnline introduces what we hope will be a popular new series of reader-submitted stories. We’re asking you to locate the sites of the old BMC dealerships and show us what’s there now.
Ian Nicholls explains…
Because of its proliferation of inherited marques, the British Motor Corporation possessed a large dealer network, sometimes having competing dealers in the same town. What now remains of this once substantial network that once peppered the land?
In the first of a new interactive series we show what became of these sites. We begin with Stalham, in North Norfolk. The town’s BMC dealer was the Rosedale Engineering Works located at the end of the High Street. In 1959, it was an Austin dealer, and was described as a stocking trader.
As these August 2015 pictures show, the site is clearly no longer a BMC dealership, but is now the location for several small businesses. On the left is ‘The Bunker’, dealing in militaria, the ‘Fireplace Men’, which is self explanatory, ‘The Rainbow Café’ and the ‘Swap Shop’, which sells computer-related services. Apparently the ‘Fireplace Men’, ‘The Rainbow Café’ and ‘Swap Shop’ occupy what was once the car showroom. Next is a house, then the former filling station, now occupied by Stalham Car Sales. The next business is the hand car wash.
Moving behind the High Street façade we come to G and M Motor Engineers and Havers Tyres. I will shamelessly plug G and M (01692 582278), which stands for Graham and Mathew, as they look after my family’s fleet of BL tin. They even have customers bringing their classic cars from Norwich, some 15 miles distant. Both men were trained in BL dealerships. Next to Havers Tyres is the ‘One Stop Money Shop’ and the office for the hand car wash.
So the site of Rosedale Engineering Works continues to supply automotive related services, and still sells cars, albeit used ones.
Now it’s your turn! Please tell us where you live in the Comments section below, and we will tell you where your nearest BMC dealer was. All you have to do is take some pictures, and tell us what’s going on there now. It’ll be interesting tracking some of our lost history this way.
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.