Anchor Garage

John Childs’ garage in Smeeth. A petrol pump in need of preservation.

I spent the day taking photographs in Brook, Brabourne, Smeeth, Mersham, Park View, Kennardington, Appledore, Reading Road…

The buildings that I took photographs of were often quite random like this great petrol station in Smeeth with an original (or at least very old) pump.

‘It was Anchor Garage to start with,’ said a guy working there, pointing at the sign on the wall, ’30s, 40s.. don’t know.’ He was eyeing up my Hyundai, hoping it would spring a sudden leak and that he’d have something serious to do.

I took a picture and then fretted about how I was going to put a date to such a building. Historic England and British Listed Buildings were unlikely to give me much joy I thought.

And putting Anchor Garage Smeeth into Google isn’t very productive either. I just get hundreds of MOT offers and other garages in the local area. No-one suspects that what I really need is a date for a building.

In the end, Ashford Kent Remembering How It Once Was comes up trumps. Not only with details of owners going back to the 1930s but also people who worked there as pump attendants and pictures of the building on postcards.

So it might make the list of 100… will have to see what other 1930s buildings we come up with.

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