In The Beginning...
Blakeney Garage began life in 1919 by Herbert Pye on a piece of land given to him by his father. The site had previously served as a recreation ground for troops stationed in Blakeney during the First World War, where several fiercely contested sporting competitions between troops and local lads had taken place.
In 1923, the original garage was partly rebuilt and designed by local architect John Page. Page’s design took inspiration from the village’s non-residential buildings, including boat sheds, stables, blacksmiths and maltings.
The methods and materials in the construction of the garage also remained true to the heritage of the area. Local builder, Meadows Grimes, was employed to build the garage and Pye himself toured the countryside in search of materials, reclaiming roof trusses found lying in a field near Wells. Meanwhile, weathered pantiles were purchased second hand from a local farmer and lintels for windows and doors obtained from old farm buildings.
“Established in 1919, Blakeney Garage has a long history of serving the local community”
THE BUSINESS BLOSSOMS
During the 1920s, the garage expanded its offering with a bus and lorry garage, onsite blacksmith, farm machinery repairs, a taxi and school bus service, and leasing of lorries for the sugar beet and carrot harvests. Until the 1950's, the garage also sold new and used cars.
The garage has long provided motor fuels for the community. Originally, petrol was stored in cans in a pit. However, collecting the petrol was dangerous and on one occasion a workman was overcome by fumes and had to be rescued. This led to the purchase of two mechanical pumps. In the early 1930s, a generator was installed enabling the garage to have a DC electric petrol pump as well as an oil fountain, whereby oil was pushed up by compressed air. During the Second World War, the garage became the headquarters of the local Home Guard with Pye as the Commanding Officer. For the first year of the war, the garage also housed the local ambulance and Auxiliary Fire Service pump.
In 1948, the garage changed hands with various buildings repurposed, including an engineering workshop, a chandlers and pottery supplies. In 1992, the current buildings once again became a petrol station and workshop, under the ownership of David Chenery and Brian Daniels. They ran the garage successfully until the business passed to its current ownership in 2016.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY
In 2019, Blakeney Garage marked its centenary year with an expansive restoration project whereby much of the original façade was restored, the workshop completely refitted with the latest facilities for MOT, servicing and repairs, and renovation of the fuel forecourt.
After several months of restoration work, we were delighted to be able to once again serve locals, businesses and visitors to the area and celebrated the occasion with a grand opening in December 2019. As well as fuel sales, MOTs, servicing and repairs, we have made the most of Blakeney Garage’s spacious site with an event venue room for hire, classic car and motorbike displays, and future plans for a cafe, proudly offering a central hub for the local community.
With special thanks to Monica White and the Blakeney Historical Society for information about the history of Blakeney Garage.