An urban view — 30 August 2019

When I first started working, driving a cab in London, dotted around the Capital were a number of small independent garages, many providing facilities for cabbies to empty their bladders as well as fill up their cabs.

ONE POPULAR SUCH GARAGE with the most basic of washroom facilities was once to be found in Waverton Street, Mayfair occupying a site worth probably many millions more than the fuel they were selling.

The oldest garage in London, which until recently was located in Store Street, a short anxious drive from Oxford Street when running low on diesel. The Bloomsbury Village Garage reminiscent of a period that Enid Blyton wrote about closed in June 2008 after being turned down for listing by The Department for Culture Media and Sport.

Duke’s exclusive use

It opened in 1926, probably for the exclusive use of The Duke of Bedford a well-known car enthusiast, who on 1st April 1968 was fined £50 for undertaking on the M1, when the police had recognised his number plate DOB1.

2013-05-13 10.28.12
The petrol station which attracted famous customers’ including Lewis Hamilton and Jamie Oliver was once probably used by Virginia Woolf’s chauffeur has now been redeveloped using most of the original brick and stone incorporating the original kiosk. A mosaic above harks back to the ‘golden age’ of motoring when it was possible to fill your tank and spend a penny in central London.

A version of this post was published by CabbieBlog on 28th May 2013

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