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An Old Westmorland Garage

Anne Bonney


Bernard Crabtree was born in 1908, the elder son of Zenas and Edith, of Osborne Terrace, Kendal. Zenas was a pattern maker from Hebden Bridge and came to Kendal in the early 1900s and helped build the first motor car in Kendal.

Bernard grew up in early Kendal and remembers the many mills along the river and occasionally hitching a ride by ‘jumping on the back of a passing horse-drawn cart’. He tells of his father’s valuable work during the war years – when the ‘Kendal Munitions Group’ was formed by a group of local businessmen.

He recalls the 1920s and the purchase of a group of old houses in Kirkland, that were demolished to build the ‘Z Crabtree Garage’. He recollects the many different vehicles that passed through their door and describes incidents and call-outs that formed ‘part and parcel’ of garage life. He recounts the joy and camaraderie of the Westmorland Motor Club. Bernard retired in the late 1970s after over fifty years in the motor trade. This book is filled with stories and photographs, many previously unseen. A truly delightful insight into the development of the early car and motorcycle business in Kendal!


Bernard Crabtree



Publication Date:



Paperback; 208 x 148mm




Black and white photographs throughout