A brief history of Taw Valley Garage
April 8th 1917. A piece of land was purchased from William James Slade. Lebbear House Shebear by John
Altham Surtees, The Rectory, Lapford for the sum of �15/0S/0d. In 1919 a small wooden construction was erected as a dwelling. Later that year a
wood and tin workshop was built. 1920 the business of Taw Valley Motor Company started, the repairs of Motor vehicles and the Sale and repairs
of motor Cycles.
The workshop below has two pre 1925 "Bullnose Morris Cowleys" in the background, in the foreground early British Motorcycles and a vehicle hoist, the poster on the left advertises Speedway in Exeter.
Petroleum Spirit was sold from the Garage supplied initially in Gallon cans, an agency for "Pratts Motor Spirit" was held.
Another piece of land was purchased in 1920 for the sum of �2/0s/0d, a wooden Office and small shop was built on this site selling, Oils, Parts,
Bulbs and Tyres.
In 1921 the business known as "Taw Valley Motor Company� including all, Stock, Tools of trade and Goodwill was sold to James
Massie of Camir Park, County Tipperary, Ireland a �300/0s/0d deposit, a five year lease of �30/0s/0d payable annually, and an option to purchase
within five years, paying a total of �600/0s/0d.
A very expensive business some eighty years ago. In 1923 Mr Massie purchased the
freehold property for �150/0s/0d. In 1925 the entire Business including freehold property, Stock, Tools, Vehicles and Goodwill was sold to Mr R H
Crawford for �200/0s/0d. Recession hit very hard during those years. In 1926 another piece of land was purchased from Mr W J Slade, Higher Week
Mill Farm, Chawleigh, for �25/0s/0d
A Wooden Inspection Ramp resembling a Pier was built. This ramp was in use until the 1980s, it stood until 1998, when for safety
reasons was demolished. Can anybody recognise these men we have never managed to name them? In 1927 the business was renamed "Taw Valley Garage"
and sold in its entirety to John Charles Wheaton for �600/0s/0d. Close links were established with both the "Morris" and "Austin" car companies,
both marques were sold, customers were taken to the factory to see the production of their cars before delivery.
The busy local Railway station of Eggesford with its Markets, Sawmill, Hotel, Slaughter House and the "Eggesford Tennis Club"
(The Pavilion remains standing at Ford Farm) left an opening for a Cafe and a Taxi Service. Frank and wife, a local schoolteacher, enlarged the
business in the late 1920s extending the Bungalow known as Taw Valley Bungalow into a Caf.
A view looking up from the meadow at the Bungalow and Cafe. Looking over the River Taw valley with Caf� gardens in foreground
Cafe and Post Office proprietor Mr Wheaton Snr. "Taw Valley Cafe" was the local cafe near the Mid Devon Tennis club based between
the present Garage site and Ford Moor farm.
Frank Wheaton left the business to pursue a career in the RAF, during this time his father continued to run the business with
local mechanics and drivers, after the war Frank returned. In the late 1950s the entire workshop was destroyed by a fire, as the building was mainly
constructed of timber little was salvaged. The Business continued to trade very much in the old fashioned way for many years, serving petrol from
hand cranked petrol pumps, until the late 1960s when electric pumps were first installed.
On Frank`s retirement in 1978 Martin Perron who had completed an apprenticeship at Daimler Jaguar cars having gained City and Guild,
Union of Educational Institutions, and National Craftsman qualifications worked at Jaguar dealers County Garage铔 in Barnstaple. He rented the Garage
for a short spell he then purchased the Business freehold site and accomodation. Martin was elected as an Associate Member of the Institute of the
Motor Industry in 1980 (A.M.I.M.I), and elected to full member in 1987 (M.I.M.I). Taw Valley Garage became a member of the Retail Motor Industry
Federation, it continuing to trade under the long established �Taw Valley Garage� name, over the years the site has been cleared, workshops
modernised, accomodation demolished and new Bungalow built, Taw Valley Garage Limited was incorporated as a Private Limited Company in March 2004,
Martin Perron is the Managing Director. The workshops are well equipped with latest in modern equipment. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
approved class 4 testing bay has been operational for many years. Please view the other pages of our site for more details of services provided.