Salt­wa­ter Creek garage

New Zealand Classic Car - - READERS’ WRITES -

For the past 16 years, I have been pass­ing by an old 1950s-style ser­vice sta­tion at Salt­wa­ter Creek, on State High­way 1, be­tween Lei­th­field and Waikuku in North Can­ter­bury, at­tracted by the fact that the owner was slowly restor­ing it. Many read­ers may re­call this old garage, be­cause of the large sign on the face board of the front ve­randa read­ing in large let­ters, “JE­SUS CHRIST IS LORD”, and in black plas­tic block let­ters, “SALT­WA­TER CREEK GARAGE”. Over the years, it has be­come an icon of the North Can­ter­bury district. It’s been closed for at least 25 years, and the cur­rent owner, Mr Mervyn Croat, pur­chased it 23 years ago, from Mr Barry Giles, who had op­er­ated it as a mo­tor work­shop and ser­vice sta­tion for 30 years. Mervyn wishes to re­paint the build­ing in the cor­rect au­then­tic colours of the time, but does not know what oil com­pany his ser­vice sta­tion op­er­ated un­der. This was in the days when ‘ser­vice sta­tion’ was an ap­pro­pri­ate name, as you did ac­tu­ally get ser­vice! When com­pleted, this could be­come a real tourist at­trac­tion, if done au­then­ti­cally. Shades of Route 66 maybe? Can any read­ers help with mem­o­ries, sto­ries, or pho­tos of the olde Salt­wa­ter Creek Garage in its hey­day? Maybe you have some old ser­vice sta­tion–re­lated ar­ti­cles you would like to donate? Mervyn can be con­tacted by the fol­low­ing meth­ods: post to owner/ re­storer at 1850 Main North Road, Sefton, North Can­ter­bury, or 027 37 95 653, or email me at stan­car­_nzcc@hot­mail.com. All ar­ti­cles, info, and pho­tos would be greatly ap­pre­ci­ated. Trevor Stan­ley-joblin, Can­ter­bury There are still plenty of these old garages sit­ting, mostly derelict, around the coun­try. Let’s hope this one can be brought back to life. AFW

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