As a lad, I was brought up with bikes by a bike-mad dad and lots of similar uncles, so I was used to all the petrol pumps in Prescot and the surrounding district.
In the 1940s and 50s we had two in the town, Saggerson’s and Clegg’s. Clegg’s had a laundry and a garage fronting the business. It had been the centre of motorcycling before the war, but was still in existence when I left the area for National Service in the late 1950s.
The only photo I can find shows my dad’s lorry refuelling there. I believe it dated from the First World War, with solid tyres and oil lamps, and Dad was expected to drive it to Liverpool and London on a regular basis.
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My main memory, though, is of Jack Welsbey’s Station Garage by the railway bridge in Rainhill, which sold Cleveland Discol. Jack rode factory Scotts on the Island in the mid-1920s, but he was also a successful sand and speedway rider before the war.
He was a fund of racing tales, and kept me and the other young lads spellbound on many a winter night. Long before I was old enough to ride, he infected me with the Scott virus, and was instrumental in getting me a 1929 Scott for £1 10s to ride in the fields when I was 14.
The draughty little shed and office was a haven for lads like me, huddled round a stove on a dark winter’s night. Happy days!
Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Views in the May 2018 issue of OBM – on sale now!