New lease of life for es­tab­lished Strat­ford garage

Stratford Press - - News - By ALICE COWDREY

A Strat­ford busi­ness which has ex­isted for more than 60 years is turn­ing over a new leaf.

Jonathan Turner, 34, has bought well-known au­to­mo­tive re­pair shop Dick­sons Ser­vice Cen­tre af­ter the re­tire­ment of Sharyn and Ray Wat­son, who owned the busi­ness for more than for more than 50 years.

Jonathan says buy­ing the busi­ness was a nat­u­ral step af­ter hav­ing worked there for nine years fix­ing cars, chang­ing tyres and do­ing wheel align­ments.

“We pretty much do ev­ery­thing au­to­mo­tive re­lated in­clud­ing trailer hire.”

He took the busi­ness over as he was fa­mil­iar with it and it en­sured all of the staff stayed — six peo­ple in­clud­ing him­self as well as man­ager Peter Martin, who has worked at the busi­ness for nearly 40 years.

Jonathan lives with his part­ner Rachel and chil­dren Quinn, 7, and Layla, 5, and is a Strat­ford Vol­un­teer Fire Brigade sta­tion of­fi­cer, hav­ing been a mem­ber of the brigade for 16 years.

He en­joys the trade and es­pe­cially the “old-school ser­vice men­tal­ity” where cus­tomers get to speak di­rectly to me­chan­ics in­stead of deal­ing with desk staff. He says it is a busy work­shop with a large client base and he is ex­cited about the new op­por­tu­nity.

“There’s no rea­son why you wouldn’t want to take the busi­ness over re­ally — it has re­ally good foun­da­tions.”

Sharyn, who pre­vi­ously ran the busi­ness with her hus­band Ray, says she wishes Jonathan well.

“It is par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing to know that the busi­ness is pass­ing to some­one who has been part of the busi­ness for nine years and im­por­tantly that the same team of en­thu­si­as­tic and very ca­pa­ble me­chan­ics and of­fice per­sonal will be con­tin­u­ing em­ploy­ees.

She says she and Ray had greatly val­ued the re­la­tion­ships they had made with cus­tomers and will miss see­ing so many won­der­ful peo­ple.

“Thank you for your pa­tron­age over the years.”

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