Do exactly as I say!

As a trainee mechanic, Colin Evans was as green as any apprentice, and it was only a matter of time before he was sent for a ‘long weight’, a ‘left-handed screwdriver’ or some ‘tartan paint’…

I just love reading your regular ‘Pete’s Prattle’ and often I feel the urge to put pen to paper in the hope of adding some amusing tale similar to previous articles printed within the pages of OBM.

Photo of the forecourt with Jamie Thompson, aged about eight years, who was the son of Jim Thompson, an agricultural engineer who rented a small area of the garage.

In 1962 I left school at the age of 15 and immediately started work at Platers Garage in Aston Clinton near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, on the A41.

The new owner changed its name to Madge Garage. I was to be a trainee mechanic. My weekly wage was £3. I remember that the Esso petrol we sold was four shillings and 10 pence a gallon (equating to 24 pence in new money).

My tutor ‘old Tom’.

I knew nothing about cars or mechanics but was keen to learn. As is always the case, the new boy had to put up with all the usual wind-up things that always seemed to amuse the rest of the staff.

Dear old Tom, who was the retired father-in-law of the owner, took me under his wing, teaching me how to speak to customers in a nice manner while serving petrol from the pumps.

Read more and view more images in the October 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!

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